Manchester United have, for all of the narratives and drama which constantly surround them, quietly put together a quality run of results and risen to fifth in the Premier League as the calendar changes from 2019 to 2020.
With just one loss in their last nine PL games (5W-3D-1L), the Red Devils trail fourth-place Chelsea, who play on Sunday, by just one point after winning away to Burnley on Saturday. That’s all well and good, but defender Harry Maguire believes they’re capable of so much more, if only they could get out of their own way sometimes — quotes from the BBC:
“We’re a team who haven’t been conceding many chances, but set-pieces and other basic things have been letting us down. It’s nice to come here, get a clean sheet and get the win.
“On our day we can beat anyone, but we’ve been far too inconsistent this year. We didn’t perform at all at Watford, so it was important to come here, do the basics well and keep the clean sheet.”
As for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who perhaps felt his seat getting a tad warm before his side’s current run, the progress made by Man United in recent weeks has been very encouraging; most notably, their ability to quickly bounce back from a poor performance and right the ship.
“In the first, half I thought we were very good. We controlled it and dominated it. Second half, of course there will be a couple more incidents in your box because they are throwing the ball into it but great defending.
“It is a big difference to get a clean sheet. It is important for us to know we can grind out results as well, even though if you score one you don’t always win but if we get the clean sheets we have a better chance to move up the table.
“We want to keep the momentum going. Two wins now and good response after the disappointing game against Watford. We have not lost a game straight after we have lost another one, so happy with that. Good response from the players. They are learning.”