Manchester United stars ‘different players’ under Solskjaer – Ian Wright

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Highlights: Arsenal 1-3 Man Utd

Manchester United’s stars look like “different players” under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup, says BBC pundit Ian Wright.

United have won all eight games under the former Red Devils striker since he replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho on an initial six-month contract.

Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial scored in their 3-1 win at the Emirates on Friday.

“We’re seeing tremendous performances,” said ex-Gunners striker Wright.

United have been much improved since the sacking of Mourinho in December after two and a half years in charge. Performances under the Portuguese were seen as negative, with United closer to the relegation zone than top spot.

“Manchester United look like different players. The way they are playing, they couldn’t have been enjoying it under Jose Mourinho at the end,” Wright added.

Former United defender Phil Neville said on BBC One: “I thought there was a gulf between the two teams.

“At the start people accused Ole of winning easy games, then he went to Tottenham and won [two weeks ago]. The players that were not performing under Jose are now performing the way we knew they could.

“It was a brilliant performance from United. I think what we have seen from Ole is that it’s more than just giving people love, it is about tactical awareness.”

With United 2-1 up, Solskjaer brought on forwards Marcus Rashford and Martial in a bid to wrap the game up – with the latter scoring the clinching goal.

“The two substitutions at the end sealed the game, it was a brilliant performance from United,” said Neville.

‘The greatest audition in the history of football’

Sanchez opens scoring against former club Arsenal

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker agreed, saying: “They look happy, they look like they’re enjoying their football. It’s the antithesis of what they were at the start of the season.”

Molde manager Solskjaer was initially hired until the end of the season – with United planning a permanent appointment in the summer. The Norwegian is thought to be in contention for the full-time job.

“What Solskjaer has done is remarkable,” said Lineker. “It’s probably the greatest audition in the history of football in many ways.”

‘That’s classic Manchester United’

Martial restores Man Utd’s two-goal cushion

Solskjaer, who scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United, said his side “looked like a proper team”.

And he was delighted with their two goals on the break through Lingard and Martial.

“Of course we’d worked on defending and counter-attacking,” he told BBC Sport. “That’s classic Manchester United – counter-attacking. Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Park Ji-Sung – we’ve scored so many at Arsenal over the years.

“We showed them a video of the old classic goals. And I think there’s another two being put on that video.

“Today was a big step forward. It was a massive improvement from the Tottenham game. It’s easy to get excited and talk about the future but we need to just keep working and think about the next game.”

Lukaku, who set up two goals in an unorthodox right-wing role, was asked if it is fun to play in Solskjaer’s team.

“It does, it does,” he said. “We had clear direction today and I’m really happy with the win and the manner in which we played.

“Look at the history of the club, we make a statement wherever we go. We look to dominate and create as many chances as we can.”



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