Manchester United 3-0 Fulham: 5 ways how Solskjaer masterminded the win
Manchester United traveled to Craven Cottage to face a Fulham side who were languishing at the bottom of the table. United had a fantastic opportunity to move up to 4th in the table, as Chelsea were due to play Man City on Sunday. Fulham, on the other hand, were 19th in the table and were 7 points off safety. As such, this was building up to be a scrappy affair and Solskjaer knew that the home side would viciously try to hurt United in their bid to attain Premiership survival.
The Norwegian also had the huge midweek UEFA Champions League tie at the back of his mind and as such, he made 6 changes to the team from last weekend. De Gea started in goal, with Dalot, Smalling, Jones and Shaw making up a new look back four. Herrera, Pogba and Matic continued in the midfield, while up front, Lukaku started alongside Martial and Mata.
United were surprised at the start of the game as the home side came at them with everything. United were pegged back for the first 10 minutes as Fulham came very close to scoring twice. However, Pogba scored in the 14th minute to ease the nerves. In the 23rd minute, Martial made it 2-0 and that was the score at half time.
After the break, United were stronger off the ranks and were rewarded when United won a penalty in the 65th minute. Pogba scored his second of the night and the game ended with the score 3-0.
Solskjaer is now undefeated in his 11 games in charge and has won 10 of those games. Here are 5 ways how Solskjaer masterminded an efficient win for the Red Devils against Fulham.
#5 Team Selection
Solskjaer had a huge midweek European night to prepare for, as United were scheduled to host PSG at Old Trafford on Tuesday. As such, the Norwegian had to shuffle his team around, to keep his key players fresh.
Ashley Young was replaced by Diogo Dalot at right back, while Phil Jones and Chris Smalling came in place of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. While the midfield remained intact, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku were drafted in place of Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford. Every replacement was employed as per their strengths and as such, United cruised throughout the game.
However, the men who were retained, also did their job. While the midfield was stellar, a moment of genius from Martial was the highlight of the game, while the Frenchman did also set Pogba up for the opening goal.
The Norwegian also used his substitutes well, preserving Pogba, Martial and Herrera, arguably some of his most important assets, for the midweek game. Solskjaer's team selection, in the end, was the first step towards United earning all three points.