Solskjaer blown away by performances of Man Utd duo who were doubts

Date published: Sunday 7th March 2021 7:13 - Samuel Bannister

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Anthony Martial as the man of the match in the Manchester derby and praised both the Frenchman and Luke Shaw for playing through the pain barrier.

Manchester United produced a big performance to beat rivals Manchester City, answering some of the questions that have been thrown their way about their performances in bigger games.

Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty won by Martial early in the first half, before Shaw struck shortly after the interval to seal the win.

It restores some confidence for United, who had come unstuck in games like these earlier this season. Solskjaer still sees room for improvement, but could not hide his enthusiasm.

He told BBC Sport: “Delighted. I’d say you get the first goal, we were on the front foot for 10-15 minutes but then the last half hour of the first half I felt we played too much on the result.

“Sometimes when you defend against strong teams inevitably they create chances. We had to get to half time to get hold of everyone again.

“The second goal was magnificent. Luke just showed what he is about.

“He was a massive doubt this morning and had to go through a fitness test to play. What a performance.

“I thought we defended really well, we were more like ourselves with the ball attacking wise.

“Anthony Martial was man of the match and he was an even bigger doubt than Luke. That was the Anthony we know, strong, positive and taking players on. Delighted for him.”

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Solskjaer not thinking about catching City

In all honesty, that performance may have come too late for United, who have fallen behind their rivals in the race for the title.

Even after closing the gap, United remain 11 points behind City. Talk of a title challenge seems a distant memory.

Beating City may have restored a glimmer of hope, but Solskjaer is simply thinking of doing better than last season.

He added: “They are so far ahead you can’t really think about anything but making sure we win our games and be better than last year. We were third so we want to move up the table of course.”

READ MOREMaguire claims Rashford row proves Man Utd are top of unusual table

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