Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win | Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his side beat Manchester City with Aaron Wan-Bissaka producing a majestic performance at the Etihad.

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be glad he pressured Ed Woodward after Man City win
  • By: express.co.uk
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Back in the summer, Manchester United duo Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward met to discuss transfer business at Old Trafford. After a summer where they'd again fallen well short of eventual Premier League champions Manchester City, the duo knew they needed to recruit.

One of the areas both men agreed needing bolstering was at right-back.

Having seen Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold flourish for Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, United knew they needed someone they can depend on.

As per usual, many names were linked once it became public knowledge that the Red Devils would be signing a replacement for veteran Antonio Valencia.

Thomas Meunier had his admirers at Old Trafford but Solskjaer knew who he wanted. In his eyes, it was this player or nothing at all.

So after much pressure, Woodward finally agreed to meet Crystal Palace's asking price for defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Ed Woodward Man City news

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pressured Ed Woodward on Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Image: GETTY)

And, certainly based on Saturday night's stirring 2-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad, it appears to be money well spent.

City went into the game as favourites. While they've suffered a blip of late, they're still the defending champions. Still the possessors of the best set of players in the world right now.

United had beaten Tottenham but, before that, failed to beat Sheffield United, Astana and Aston Villa.

But the Red Devils sprang a major surprise, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial giving them three precious Premier League points.

And Wan-Bissaka, amid the heat of the Etihad battle, delivered perhaps his finest display in a red shirt yet.

Man Utd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Ed Woodward Man City news

Man Utd star Aaron Wan-Bissaka was outstanding against Man City (Image: GETTY)

The United star was solid to the point where City players, on more than one occasion, would look to the heavens in frustration.

Raheem Sterling, the same Sterling whose name was banded about for the Ballon d'Or, had one of the quietest displays of his City career.

That's some feat. This wasn't Wan-Bissaka against a tricky winger. This was him against the trickiest winger, perhaps in the entire world.

And the 22-year-old didn't give him an inch. Not one.

It was similar with Angelino. The City star would try everything to get past his United counterpart - only to find a big red wall in front of him.

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In the end, Wan-Bissaka finished the game with a 100 per cent tackle success rate. For a derby, that's a stunning accomplishment.

And it proved that Solskjaer was right to pressure Woodward. He wanted United to sign the defender, he got his man, and now the only way seems to be up.

Wan-Bissaka's display wasn't entirely perfect. It was he, after all, who was outjumped by Nicolas Otamendi for City's goal.

But Solskjaer certainly got the right man and, if United didn't have Wan-Bissaka, they wouldn't be sitting in the lofty heights of fifth in the Premier League table.

Gary Neville explains what Man Utd need in January transfer window after Man City win

Gary Neville explains what Man Utd need in January transfer window after Man City win

Manchester United still need to be busy in the January transfer window despite winning two Premier League games in a row. That’s the view of former Red Devils defender Gary Neville who saw United beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad on Saturday evening.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both scored in the opening 30 minutes as United hit City hard with the counter attack.

They then showed their defensive qualities in the second half with Nicolas Otamendi pulling one back for the hosts in the final few minutes.

It was United’s second win of the week after they beat Tottenham on Wednesday.

But Neville believes it shouldn’t alter Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s transfer plans too much, with experienced faces still needed.

JUST IN: Man Utd players think Ed Woodward will agree Mauricio Pochettino deal to replace Solskjaer

Gary Neville saw Man Utd beat Man City on Saturday

Gary Neville saw Man Utd beat Man City on Saturday (Image: GETTY)

“It’ll give them massive confidence but I still don’t think it changes what United need to do in January,” Neville said on Sky Sports.

“They still need two or three, if they can get, experienced players in to bolster that squad.

“They need it desperately. McTominay and Fred have done brilliantly today in front of that back four.

“But they just can’t do it week in, week out. That’s been demonstrated over a period of time.

“It doesn’t change anything today but it does give confidence and gives Ole that little bit of breathing space that they can go and win big games.”

Solskjaer had been under pressure a week ago but the two results since has eased that somewhat.

And United goalscorer Rashford believes his boss should not be facing the strong criticism.

The striker said: “It’s been an inconsistent start to the season, it’s a young team, and we’ve been trying to get the right fundamentals and the only way to get consistency is to go through these hard times.

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has eased the pressure on himself

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has eased the pressure on himself (Image: GETTY)

“You have to stick with the manager and process. If we do that we’ve got something to be excited about in the future.

"We could have had more goals and really seen the game out. It is a tough win and sometimes they do more for you as a team and will Help us going forward.

"That first 30 minutes was terrific and what we played to do, the challenge is if we can do that for 80 or 90 minutes.”

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

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).

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