The Norwegian’s impressive reign looks better and better as this never-ending campaign for his side was extended by a further six days at least.
His team are making a habit of going deep in competitions, having reached the semis in both the Carabao and FA Cup this season.
Now he will want them to prove they can get over the line and deliver a trophy that will provide tangible evidence of the progress being made at Old Trafford.
They’ve underachieved in each of their previous two semis against Manchester City and Chelsea. Now is the chance to serve notice of their intention to mount a genuine Premier League title challenge next season.
The route to the Champions League that this competition offers is no longer a motivation for United after finishing third.
Instead, their involvement in this mini tournament in Cologne is all about the glory. And that’s something this developing United team need to get used to.
A first full season under Solskjaer was about transition and the minimum requirement of returning to European football’s top table.
In that sense they are ahead of schedule. But they are still yet to prove they are capable of turning that potential into prizes.
This is a club that wins for the sake of triumph – not a passport to another competition.
That’s why Solskjaer batted away suggestions that the Europa League had lost its edge given United’s top-four finish.
He acknowledges the need to instil a winning mentality into a team that has become accustomed to the mediocre.
He welcomed top three – their second-best finish since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement – and then immediately insisted it wasn’t good enough.
He is a manager who says the right things and shares the expectations of a fanbase that have watched on as their two most hated rivals have dominated.
Solskjaer believes the right business will see United bridge the gap to Liverpool and City, and a trophy would see them bouncing into the new season with winning momentum and the confidence that success breeds.
But an exhausting night in Germany will serve as warning of the task ahead of them.
FC Copenhagen were stubborn and well-organised – pushing the game into extra time.
Their goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson was near impenetrable – but for Fernandes’ penalty after 95 minutes. Even then, he still went the right way, but couldn’t get to the perfectly-placed spot kick.
Johnsson was engaged in a personal duel with the outstanding Anthony Martial, who won United’s penalty and tormented Copenhagen’s defenders with his driving runs into the box.
When Johnson wasn’t in the way, the woodwork came to his rescue – both Mason Greenwood and Fernandes hitting the post in the second half.
Solskjaer will be impressed with his side’s ability to get the job done in testing circumstances, with weary legs clearly evident. But he must also acknowledge Copenhagen were rank outsiders and pushed United all the way.
Wolves or Sevilla will provide much more of a challenge, while Inter Milan also progressed to the semis with victory over Bayer Leverkusen.
That could set up a reunion with Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Young in the final a week on Friday.
That is a tantalising prospect – but after two semi final failures to his name already, Solskjaer would be wise not to look too far ahead.