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Solskjaer: It's a privilege to manage this Man Utd team

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot fault Manchester United's attitude and hopes both players and fans enjoyed their derby victory.
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Modified 09 Mar 2020, 01:22 IST
scott mctominay
Scott McTominay (L) after scoring against Manchester City

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described it as "a privilege" to be Manchester United manager after watching his side's 2-0 derby victory over Manchester City.

The Red Devils struck a potentially fatal blow to City's title defence at Old Trafford as goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay maintained their charge for the Champions League places.

United were deservedly ahead at half-time after Martial's volley went through the grasp of Ederson, and they defended stoutly against a blunt City until McTominay struck with seconds remaining after he pounced on a poor throw from the visiting goalkeeper.

The performance and result highlighted the progress of Solskjaer's rebuilding work at United, coming 11 months on from a 4-0 defeat at Everton that left the manager apologising to fans and making it clear some players would be moved on.

Speaking to Sky Sports on Sunday, Solskjaer could not fault the effort of his players, even though he can see the need for some improvements.

"The desire, attitude, commitment, the connection between fans and the team. What a day they've had today, both the players and the fans," he said.

"Of course, they make us defend - that's just the type of team they are - but our fans could see players with commitment and attitude and desire. We've done our job then.

"I think we at times pressed them and pushed them back. We tried to be aggressive with the wing-backs and three up front, so we ended up with three at the back. When we hit the press, we made them make mistakes and we're happy with the result.

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"I can't put a finger on anything [that was a negative] but, at times, you'd like to defend with the ball in the team sometimes, but I'm not going to complain!

"It's a privilege to be a manager of a squad and players with this attitude. They give us absolutely everything they've got, every time they play, and you can't ask for more.

"We're gonna improve as a team; they're gonna improve as players. There were two or three times today: head up, and we score goals. Twice, Dan James could just square it, once for Bruno [Fernandes] and once for Anthony; Anthony should square it for Bruno.

"Those little things will come, but it's a privilege. They want to learn, and they listen to the advice we give them.

"It's a derby: the fans love it, the players love it. Sometimes, you can say it's only three points, but for our players to beat a team like Man City, with the problems that we've had as well, is fantastic. I'm just delighted for them.

"We played against an absolute top, top team and, of course, we had to defend, and they had possession, but we're delighted with the outcome."

Solskjaer also highlighted a growing understanding between January signing Fernandes and Martial, the Portugal midfielder having set up the opening goal with a clever chipped free-kick.

"They've hit it off, Anthony and Bruno," Solskjaer added. "Bruno is that type of player. I've seen them do it before."

Published 09 Mar 2020, 01:22 IST
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