Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players | Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer steered his side to victory over Manchester City.

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players

Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players
Man Utd win over Man City shows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed three players
  • By: express.co.uk
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Whisper it quietely, but Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are beginning to show signs of real promise. Days after producing what the Norweigan described as his team's best performance of the season against Tottenham, the Red Devils did it again with a powerful performance against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Plaudits will go to goalscorers Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, while the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jesse Lingard and Daniel James caught the eye as well.

But three other players deserve praise, looking completely different to 12 months ago when Jose Mourinho ruled the roost.

There's no denying that Manchester United remain very much a work in progress.

But three players are, slowly but surely, beginning to silence their critics. Express Sport now takes a look at who they are and why they're now integral for Solskjaer's team.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man City

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw Victor Lindelof shine vs Man City (Image: GETTY)

Scott McTominay

A year ago, not everybody was sold on Scott McTominay. Certainly, the thought of the United midfielder being an ever-present appeared far-fetched.

But, while he was ticking along steadily under Mourinho, he has taken his game to new heights under Solskjaer.

The United manager himself has admitted that, these days, the Scotland international is virtually undroppable.

And his performance against City is proof that Solskjaer has turned him into a really important midfielder at the club.

McTominay was snarling but slick, nullifying the threats of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva while providing the foundations for United's powerful counter-attacking performance.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man City

Man Utd duo Fred and Scott McTominay improved against Man City (Image: GETTY)

Fred

United fans, a year ago, were confused by Fred.

What exactly had Mourinho, Ed Woodward and other Old Trafford powerbrokers seen to persuade them to pay £52million to secure the midfielder's signature?

But now we know.

The Brazil international delivered, in the eyes of his manager, a 'man of the match' performance. He was confident in possession and again, alongside McTominay, excelled at both ends.

Fred may just end up living up to his huge United price tag after all.

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Victor Lindelof

The United star remains a question mark. But, against City at the Etihad, he was absolutely superb.

It's not easy keeping out Gabriel Jesus, especially given the Brazilian's pace.

But the Sweden international did just that while marshalling the troops and joining Harry Maguire in being particularly loud and vocal.

He's no Virgil van Dijk, sure, but the United star is turning into another undroppable for his manager.

And that can only be a good thing.

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Manchester City are the best team in the Premier League despite trailing Liverpool by 14 points, according to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. United beat City 2-1 in the Manchester derby on Saturday evening.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s first-half goals, which put United in control after half-an-hour, were enough for the visitors to emerge from the Etihad Stadium with three points.

That was despite Nicolas Otamendi setting up a tense finale with a header to halve the deficit with five minutes of normal time to go.

The match was marred in the second half as one City fan appeared to racially abuse the United players, including Fred and Jesse Lingard.

But despite that incident, the Red Devils were deserving winners as they dealt a major blow to City’s ambitions of a third successive title.

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead (Image: GETTY)

Pep Guardiola’s side suffered their fourth loss of the campaign to leave them well adrift of rivals Liverpool.

City pipped the Merseyside outfit to the title by a single point last term, with 98 points to Liverpool’s 97.

But with the Reds having won 14 of their 15 games, they have streaked a huge 14 points clear of the champions heading into the Christmas period.

And many believe that has sounded the death knell for City’s hopes of retaining their crown as Liverpool seek a first top-flight success since 1990.

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Solskjaer was elated with United's win over rivals City (Image: GETTY)

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Solskjaer thinks Guardiola is the best manager in the world (Image: GETTY)

Yet regardless, Solskjaer thinks that despite their slip-ups this term, City remain the supreme team in England.

"You have to have fun when you have these games," said the United manager. “For me, he [Guardiola] is the best coach in the world. 

“I have admired him since he took over at Barcelona and I can only say again that I think these are the best team in the league because the way he gets them playing they give us problems from every angle.

“And he has done that with all the teams he has had so I will always, always look up to him. I've read his books - put it that way!"

The Norwegian coach felt United’s win was his best as manager - beating the dramatic Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain in March before he took permanent charge of his old club.

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Man Utd beat Man City 2-1 at the Etihad (Image: GETTY)

Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Solskjaer still rates Man City as the best in the league despite their rocky form (Image: GETTY)

Solskjaer explained: “I was so happy with the way we started the game. The way we created big chances, we looked like we could score every time we had the ball.

"And the intent was there to go forward, every time we had the ball it's not about keeping it or slowing it down, we go for the kill and should have been three or 4-0 up.

"But then again you're playing against the best team in the world, so you have to defend well. I think the way we had to prepare for this game, because you follow this team for three years, and they're so hard to defend against because they're so good and very pleased with how they dealt with everything, our boys.

"If you consider who we're playing against and where, yeah, I think [it's the best performance]. We're playing against a team with some top players and they're going to create chances against any team.

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Man City still ‘best in the league’ says Man Utd boss Solskjaer despite Liverpool lead

Solskjaer rates Man City as better than Liverpool (Image: GETTY)

"But I think we also did our best to make this an entertaining game, because the chances we created were massive.”

Solskjaer is confident the last week at United, in which they have downed former Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham and now City, shows progress is being made at Old Trafford.

"I've seen the improvement since I came,” he added. “We've have had to reshape the squad, change the culture of the squad, change the way we wanna play. 

“Of course, when you prepare for these games you see so many games. And even though I remember last season's away game, it's not nice to see that City are so much better than us and they're the best team in the world, so I can understand teams will struggle here.

"But today we've come away with some dignity in the right place."

Victory moves United into fifth, five points off of fourth-placed Chelsea, while City are eight ahead of United and sit third.

Second-placed Leicester City can move six points ahead of City by beating Aston Villa on Sunday (2pm).

Liverpool star Sadio Mane is the 'new Cristiano Ronaldo' but must win the Premier League

Liverpool star Sadio Mane is the 'new Cristiano Ronaldo' but must win the Premier League

Liverpool ace Sadio Mane has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo after his recent form. The forward has played a key role in the Reds’ storm to the top of the Premier League.

Mane was rested as the table-topping Reds defeated Bournemouth on Saturday.

Liverpool ran riot on the south coast, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah netting in the 3-0 win.

The result left Liverpool 11 points clear at the top of the table - 14 points ahead of Manchester City.

It was the first time he has been left out of the starting line-up since the first weekend of the season against Norwich.

Liverpool

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo (Image: GETTY)

On that occasion, however, he came off the bench with 15 minutes to play, but he played no role against Bournemouth.

After dropping Salah and Roberto Firmino against Everton in the week, Jurgen Klopp was seemingly ready to give the Senegalese star a break.

Mane has been on fire this season, having scored nine and provided six assists in the league.

His form has pushed him to the front of the queue for the PFA Player of the Year award.

And Dutch legend Danny Blind compared Mane to Cristiano Ronaldo for his all-round play.

“Sadio Mane is the new Ronaldo in world football,” he said.

“As an attacking player he is absolutely fantastic. I can go through all his qualities - and he is superb in every aspect.

“He can score with his left foot, his right foot, with sensational headers.

Liverpool

Liverpool ace Sadio Mane has been on fire this season (Image: GETTY)
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“He can give brilliant assists, he is an incredible athlete - and I could go on even more!

“Mane is the super modern player. If you look at his skills that is one great thing, but he is able to combine that with astonishing sprints right throughout the game.

“That requires so much power. You have to be incredibly strong both physically and mentally.

“But Sadio has it all.”

Chelsea willing to go to £100M to bring Sancho home to Kennington

Chelsea willing to go to £100M to bring Sancho home to Kennington

Chelsea are willing to go to £100m to prise Jadon Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund in January.

The Daily Mail says Sancho will be Chelsea's principal target now their transfer ban has been lifted, with expectation increasing that the England winger will chose Stamford Bridge next summer, when he is expected to move from Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea will have to pay a club record for the 19-year-old, likely to be around £100million, but will also try to sign a new centre forward, despite the rise of Tammy Abraham, with RB Leipzig's Timo Werner in their sights.

But it is Sancho who is likely to be the most exciting signing and, despite interest from Liverpool and Manchester United, the south Londoner raised in Kennington as a Chelsea fan looks highly likely to move to Stamford Bridge if Dortmund agree to sell.

Sancho is a close friend of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Chelsea want the pair to spearhead them for the next decade.

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