Man United’s unbeaten run under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer grew longer when they beat Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday. A brace from Paul Pogba and a very good individual strike from Anthony Martial settled the tie in favour of the Red Devils. Contributing writer, Nathan Quao, observed the tie and shares his observations.
Early pressure was resisted
Any time Man United goes to an away ground, there is the expectation that the hosts will fight hard and try to make things tough for their esteemed guests from the start and Fulham had it in their plans to go down the same route.
They had every right to think that way too especially as they needed a good result to ease their relegation woes.
What Man United needed to do was to stay solid and focused and go through the initial wave of pressure and that was well done.
After Fulham’s feisty start, the Red Devils got into their stride and quickly made their own statement with the opening goal. A second followed from Martial and it became clear that Fulham had to tamper their ways else they would be cut apart easily.
It was refreshing to see that the team was locked in from the start but they were lucky as well. Luciano Vietto’s chance early in the game was missed and that was probably the reminder that forced Man United to get going.
Pogz was boss
Paul Pogba was the team’s best player on the day and there cannot be any arguments to counter his efforts. He made the team ticked as he moved the team as the perfect time and when he needed to show some skill, he was on hand to deliver those.
And the goals too. The first one especially. He moved really well to get into the penalty area and he did even better to get the shot off.
Maybe he was fortunate but he was willing to let the ball go and he was rewarded with a very good goal; one of the best he has scored in his time at the club.
It is very apparent that working under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has brought the best out of Pogba and everyone watching can see that.
He plays with greater freedom and that allows him to use his best traits both physically and technically to make things happen for the team like he did against Fulham.
With a very tough run of matches coming up, the expectation is that Pogba will keep going on the positive track to help the team get some very good results against high-class opposition.
Tough run ahoy
After overcoming the Fulham hurdle, tougher tests are next for Man United. Ties against PSG in the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea in the FA Cup and Liverpool in the Premier League will dominate the month of February and there must be a 100 percent from everyone involved if great results will be picked up.
Players should be at their best and the technical team must walk into these matches armed with enough scouting and plans to navigate the difficult obstacle course.
While the world may not come to an end should some bad results materialise in the tough run, it will be important especially for Solksjaer to show to everyone that he is very capable of facing very complex opposition and getting some good outcomes.
Time for more from everyone and time to get some great results.
An honourable mention goes to Anthony Martial.
He was a problem for the Fulham defence with his pace and trickery. A lot of fans were expecting to give off his best and he did exactly that with his goal. He used his speed and skill in great proportions to make the goal but it was all started with a pass from Phil Jones. Martial will have a key role to play in the upcoming matches and he should relish and enjoy playing in those games.
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