The Red Devils returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory on Saturday, but defeat to their arch-rivals still stings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that the wounds left by Manchester United’s 5-0 drubbing against Liverpool were still fresh, despite Saturday’s emphatic victory over Tottenham.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford gave the Red Devils the perfect response following that historic defeat, as Spurs were beaten 3-0 in north London.
But Solskjaer is aware that the Liverpool humiliation is still fresh in the club’s mind and that the pressure it brought still looms over him.
What was said?
Asked if the win at Tottenham means United could now move on from the Liverpool game, Solskjaer told BBC Sport: “Of course it doesn’t. That’s always going to be in the history books – one of the darkest days. A dark spot on our CV. But football becomes history so quickly.
“The experience of Edinson Cavani and Cristiano is massive. We need it. We can’t hide. The week has been difficult for all the players. They really stuck at it. Experience counts in situations like this.”
Having conceded 11 goals in their last three games in all competitions, Solskjaer was pleased to see United look far stronger at the back on Saturday, albeit against a Tottenham team that barely threatened over the 90 minutes.
“Of course when you come off the pitch winning 3-0, keeping the ball away from our goal – David de Gea didn’t have a save to make – that’s pleasing. In football sometimes it goes for us and sometimes against,” he added.
“We worked on this this week. The boys were brilliant, they took it on board.
“Raphael Varane is a top player. He reads the game well. He’s quick and so experienced. To get him back is massive for us.
“We’ve got a hard week again. Champions League game then City. We’ve got to digest this one and be ready for Tuesday.”
Rashford came off the bench to put the game beyond any doubt in the final minutes, and the England striker also praised his side’s resilience in bouncing back from that historic loss.
“It’s obviously been a difficult week, it is for any team when you don’t win. We’ve responded the only way we know how. The staff, the players all want to win,” he told Sky Sports.
“Playing for Man Utd there’s always pressure, you have to learn to enjoy it. Part of playing for this club is to come out of difficult moments. This club has always bounced back.
“I think [Solskjaer’s] prepared for the team we’re playing against. We all have to buy into what the manager tells us to do. Today that helped us come away with the three points.
“There’s more to come [from us]. As long as we keep improving, keep picking up points, we’ll see where we are come the end of the season.”