Arsenal 1 – Manchester United 3
Man United stretched their winning run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to eight games at Arsenal on Friday night.
Will Man United finish the season in the top four and by lifting a trophy?
The doom and gloom of Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford is long gone as United booked their spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial dumped Arsenal out the cup competition.
Ander Herrera on Man United new attacking tactics
In the Sunday Times, Ander Herrera has discussed how Man United are now far more attacking under Solskjaer.
Herrera has revealed Solskjaer’s instructions to implementing a more aggressive style of play:
Since the first day [Solskjaer] said we want to be a team that controls the game but sometimes that’s impossible. Sometimes we have to defend, but when we defend we know that anything can happen because we have so many quick, attacking, offensive players.
I can make runs to be in the box, Paul [Pogba] can make runs to drive forward, Ash [Young], Luke [Shaw]. Everyone is allowed to attack. When we are playing everything is possible; even in tough moments when we are defending, we have the feeling we can hurt the opponent.
It’s wonderful to have freedom, but it’s also a responsibility because you know if you are in your opponents’ box and lose the ball, you have to come back.
Attacking players are free as long as everyone defends when we lose the ball. I think that’s what we have now.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs Jose Mourinho
As the wins keep stacking up, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s claim to become the next full-time Man United boss strengthens.
His main challenger remains Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.
Yet, the Sunday Times note how Solskjaer in endearing himself at Old Trafford by harking back to tactics previously used by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby.
Under Mourinho, Man United tended to err on the side of caution. Solskjaer however is far more gung-ho.
The evidence? The Sunday Times contrast how Solskjaer and Mourinho have used Man United’s subs:
It is fair to say it was not a double substitution his predecessor would have made. Indeed, the last time Manchester United were 2-1 up in London, Jose Mourinho took Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial off.
But there was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ahead at the Emirates yet under pressure, deciding that the best form of defence was attack. On went Rashford and Martial. And on the break Martial scored. Game over, 3-1.
You thought back to Stamford Bridge last October when, looking to cover up and protect a 2-1 lead, Mourinho replaced Rashford and Martial and an ever-retreating United were done by a Chelsea equaliser late in stoppage time.