Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Bruno Fernandes are both feeling pretty good after Manchester United moved back into second place by snapping Manchester City’s 21-match winning streak.
Interestingly, though, they both know that United’s win is a good sign because of how often they’ve played better but failed to get results.
In fact, Solskjaer worried that United might not make it to halftime with the lead.
“We’re on the front foot for 15 minutes, really, really at it,” he said. “Then for the next 30 minutes we played too much on the result. We knew what we were doing but still I’d like a little bit more on the ball for my heart. When you defend for long times against good teams, inevitably they will create chances.”
“We had to get to halftime to get a hold of everyone. I know it’s hard. You’ve gotta work hard defensively, use your energy, but then come alive again.”
Fernandes scored the first goal and he’s unconvinced that this win over a Big Six team, United’s first this season, was a better performance than some of their non-wins.
“Maybe for the people now they will say United is finally performing against the Big Six because we won but maybe we perform better against other big teams and don’t win the games,” Fernandes said. “Today we scored the goals. We don’t concede and this is what football is about. Maybe against Liverpool we have chances and we don’t score, one from me one from Paul, great saves from Alisson and we don’t score, nil-nil. Today we have some chances and we score. Maybe against Tottenham and Liverpool we perform better. The league is not a sprint because if it was a sprint we lost in the beginning of the season. It’s a marathon and we have to do our best and don’t think about others and winning our games.”
United goes back into second with 54 points, 11 behind City with 10 matches left on the Premier League season. Solskjaer’s men host AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday and West Ham on Sunday.
Then it’s off to Milan before an FA Cup quarterfinal versus Leicester City.
How many of those matches won’t include Marcus Rashford, who assisted Shaw’s goal but left the match hobbling?
Solskjaer said it’s an ankle injury for Rashford and didn’t sound too worried about the length of his second-leading scorer’s absence, but it’s a brutal time in the schedule to miss him given the UEL and FA Cup are their only likely chances at hardware barring a colossal City collapse.