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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United must beat Fulham to keep title momentum going

Manchester United will face Fulham in the Premier League on Wednesday
Manchester United will face Fulham in the Premier League on Wednesday
ANALYST
Modified 20 Jan 2021
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Manchester United have now gone a whole calendar year without losing an away game in the Premier League.

The Red Devils have recently been on an impressive run of form which saw them rise to the summit of the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been so good on the road that not even defending champions Liverpool could beat them at Anfield. The two teams played out a goalless draw last week, ensuring that the Manchester giants maintained their three-point lead over Jurgen Klopp’s side.

While a lot has been said about the team’s approach to the Liverpool game, there is little time to dwell on the past, with another important clash against Fulham coming up on Wednesday.

By dropping points against Liverpool, Manchester United opened the doors for other teams to stake a claim for the top spot. Manchester City and Leicester City have duly obliged.

Manchester United must win to maintain title momentum

Pep Guardiola’s side beat Crystal Palace to move to within two points of their city rivals, albeit with a game in hand. Meanwhile, Leicester City have overtaken Manchester United to the top of the table after beating Chelsea 2-0 on Tuesday.

This means that Manchester United cannot afford to slip up when they face Fulham. The Red Devils have built momentum in the title race and must beat Scott Parker’s side to maintain it.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Goal:

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“The position we are in now is due to loads of hard work by everyone. We are halfway through the season and we are up there.”
“But it is a really, really congested top of the table so we know every little run of form can move you away from teams, or a dip of form you drop down. We just need to keep the consistency.”

Manchester United to face a test of character

Manchester United faced a big test when they came up against Liverpool, and it is fair to say that they passed. However, their character will be further tested in the coming weeks.

Most of the current United players find themselves in unfamiliar territory, having never challenged for the title. It is, therefore, unknown how they’ll respond to the pressure of sitting at the top of the table.

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So far, Manchester United have handled themselves well. However, it goes without saying that many teams were in a similar position a few months ago but couldn’t handle the pressure that comes with leading the Premier League table.

Solskjaer noted, as quoted by Goal:

“We have a laser focus, there is a sharp focus on just the next game and to get momentum. To get to where we are now, we’ve been focused on doing the job day in, day out in training and every game matters.”

After a mixed performance against Liverpool last week, Manchester United must quickly return to winning ways. The outcome of the Fulham game will prove if they have the temperament of true title contenders.

Published 20 Jan 2021, 11:59 IST
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