Solskjaer credits first half performance for Manchester derby success

Date published: Saturday 7th December 2019 8:30

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised his team’s first half performance after they beat Manchester City 2-1. 

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both scored in the first half an hour of the contest to set United on their way to victory.

Nicolas Otamendi pulled a goal back for City with five minutes of regular time remaining, but the Red Devils held on to claim the three points.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, the Norwegian manager said it was the visitors’ start to the game that ultimately earned them the win : “We were brilliant in the first half, especially in the first half an hour, we were excellent and should have been three or four goals up.

There was some great, quick attacking football and we kept it well at times, it wasn’t just a direct ball or a long ball, it was on the floor, quick transitions and I’m so pleased for the boys and they deserve it”.

United weren’t as effective in the second half and had to soak up a lot of pressure as City looked to force there way back into the game, but Solskjaer says he wasn’t surprised that his team looked tired as the game went on after their recent schedule.

He said: “When you’ve got 24 hours less recovery, both before the Tottenham game and today, it’s hard and we got tired.

“We became tired towards the end but they [the players] dug in and the mentality is strong”.

After beating Tottenham and midweek and today’s derby win, Solskjaer’s Man United are now up to fifth on the Premier League table and are just five points off fourth placed Chelsea.

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