MANCHESTER UNITED 5-1 DAZZLING VICTORY OVER CARDIFF raises few questions. Was it a reflection of the technical proficiency of new interim Manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? Was it the dexterity of the players to prove sacked Jose Mourinho wrong, that the present slide in the Club’s performance in the on-going season was not failure on the part of the players?
Further, was it an indication that Jose Mourinho was living in the past on his coaching techniques, when it was noted in the match with Cardiff that the players had first-class performance, just few days after he was sacked. Mourinho’s Manchester United pattern of play were overly defensive, regimented and inflexible.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United play pattern allowed the players to express themselves. For [90 minutes] the players played attacking football – with just two days to prepare the prayers for the first match against Cardiff. It could be too early to answer these questions and others.
Mourinho’s exit, certainly, elevated the pattern of play of Manchester United players under interim Manager Solskjaer. Whether Solskjaer would be able to sustain this first-class performance against Cardiff in the Club’s remaining matches this season, will yet be seen.
The result of Solskjaer first match against Cardiff – two days after resumption, was a good start. In an interview with BT Sport after the match he said: “I arrived on Wednesday night and only had Thursday and Friday with the players. Wayne Rooney texted me and gave me some advice — so it must be down to him. He told me to make them play football, enjoy themselves and be Manchester United.”
Solskjaer said: “Football is easy if you’ve got good players. They are a great bunch of players and their quality is unbelievable”. He said he worked on patterns of play and focused on getting full-backs Ashley Young and Luke Shaw to push on higher up the pitch.
“Your work-rate is the easiest thing to work on. It is free. It is the attitude and application of the boys. If we approach all the games like this — and we want them to approach them all like this — with combination play and playing the ball forward then I’ll be happy. The foundation was in the defending today. I thought the two centre-backs and two full-backs were brilliant today”, he said.
Solskjaer said he was not scared by the eight-point gap between United and the top four. “I was proud and humble at the reception from the fans, it has been emotional all week. But it’s a start and we move on.”
Still at the BT Sport interview, Lingard said United played with “energy, enjoyment and excitement”. And added: When you’ve got confidence, you put yourselves in positions to score goals. That’s what we did. We were playing higher and the full-backs were higher. We pinned them back and created a lot of chances.”
Marcus Rashford opened scoring in the third minutes of the opening whistle. Ander Herrera’s goal just made it [2 goals up]. Cardiff pulled a goal back through a Victor Camarasa penalty in the 38th. Anthony Martial restored the two-goal margin minutes later before half-time – making it 3-1 lead before half-time. Two goals from Jesse Lingard in the second half made it 5—1 at the end of full-time.
Manchester United scored five goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Alex Ferguson’s final game in May 2013.