Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Anthony Martial “rediscovered himself” in the derby victory over Manchester City and also lauded Dean Henderson.
United were convincing 2-0 winners over City in the Manchester derby on Sunday, as a rejuvenated Martial up front and a solid defence provided the foundations for the victory. The goals came from a Bruno Fernandes penalty and Luke Shaw’s well-taken second-half strike.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, United boss Solskjaer had huge praise for Martial, who was an injury doubt beforehand and probably only played because Edinson Cavani was ruled out. Martial has struggled for United this season but gave City’s defence a torrid afternoon.
“I thought Anthony was absolutely superb today,” said Solskjaer. “He was more of the Anthony of old. He turns, gets hold of it. And to think he was a doubt this morning, until two hours after the warm-up I wasn’t sure if he was going to be playing or not. The same with Luke.
“Today he rediscovered himself I feel. He was really strong on the ball, positive and that’s what it’s about. We have to be positive and play at a high-tempo, of course we do.”
On Henderson, who is getting a run in the side as David de Gea is away on paternity leave, Solskjaer said: “He’s just growing, getting more mature, so very, very happy with him. His presence out there, you know there’s a future top, top keeper out there.”
Free Manchester United newsletter
Manchester United secured a memorable 2-0 derby victory over Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored the goals to clinch an unexpected, but empathic, victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops against the league leaders.
MEN Sport will bring you all the build-up to and reaction from every United match. You can have it all delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter. Just put your email address in the sign-up box at the top of this article, or simply follow this link. It’s free and only takes a few seconds.
Solskjaer also admitted the early goal was a curse as well as a blessing, as he revealed his half-time instructions that prompted an even better second-half display from United at the Etihad Stadium.
“Of course when you come away with a 2-0 win, another clean sheet and a performance like this, we’re delighted of course,” he added. “We knew it was a challenge. The first goal dictates a lot of what’s happening out there, we could play a little more on the result.
“I didn’t like us coming into half-time, we played too much on the result because we were winning. Second half we got on the ball more and what a second goal, fantastic.
“Every game is different. We came back a little to what we want to be: more direct, straightforward, attacking players being positive, getting at them.”