Manchester United looked well off the pace of top-four hopefuls — let alone title contenders, even in this incredibly randomized Premier League season — for the vast majority of Saturday’s victory over Newcastle United, but they showed “great resilience” to come back from a goal down and prove their detractors wrong.
At least, that was the message from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the game as he praised his team as a whole, and captain Harry Maguire individually — quotes from the BBC:
“Great result and great character to come back, led by a very inspirational captain.”
“The boys showed a great resilience. They were patient and we controlled and dominated the game and in the end it counted.
“Harry is a character, he has great resilience and wants to play. There is no hiding place and if you go away, you prolong the criticism. He wanted to play and even though he wasn’t 100 percent fit, he played well. He is a very well-liked lad.”
“Harry scored and leads by example. He showed good character, I am happy for him. He had a couple of difficult weeks since he last played for us.”
“The season started for us today. We have come up to the speed of the game and that showed today.”
It was a rough week for Maguire, who was sent off in England’s defeat to Denmark on Wednesday, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put him right back into the Man United team on Saturday and scored the equalizing goal in the first half.
Only time will tell if Saturday’s turnaround will spur on a much larger turnaround of Man United’s season, as the Red Devils sit 14th in the PL table with six points (2W-2D-0L) from their first four games.
Likewise, only time will tell if this Man United team continues to rise to the occasion to rescue its under-fire manager.