Manchester United: Has the Premier League title challenge started for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?

Manchester United are as much as third, with even Roy Keane questioning if they might run Premier League leaders Liverpool shut. It’s time for a title cost at Old Trafford.

Was this the day Manchester United introduced their title credentials? What they’re doing actually cannot harm.

Last month, Roy Keane advised Sky Sports Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s gamers “will get him the sack”. On Sunday, following their 6-2 demolition of Leeds, he stated “there’s no reason United can’t push” all the approach in the Premier League title race. So much has modified in six quick weeks.

Realistically, Solskjaer’s facet have been going alongside underneath the radar for a while now, successful six out of their final seven video games to chop the hole to the prime of the desk down to 5 factors, albeit with performances removed from excellent. In back-to-back wins towards Southampton and West Ham inside the final month, at half-time in each they regarded extra like a workforce preventing relegation than for the title.

But now, win their to-be-rearranged recreation in hand towards Burnley, every time which may be, and the hole can be down to 2. From discuss of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job hanging in the steadiness little over a month in the past, his Manchester United facet might now be about to emerge as Liverpool’s closest challengers.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win over Leeds United in the Premier League

Finishing third final season was “an improvement, but not where we want to be” based on Solskjaer himself forward of Sunday’s 6-2 thrashing of Leeds at Old Trafford.

That is the place his United facet now occupy once more, 5 months on from securing Champions League qualification on the closing day of the 2019/20 season. But removed from the 33-point hole to champions Liverpool final season, United might discover themselves inside a sniff of Jurgen Klopp’s leaders after they journey to Anfield on January 17.

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What has Solskjaer modified in a number of quick months? Perhaps not all that a lot. The indicators have been there for some time this United facet have critical potential – however defensive points and health troubles have dogged them at occasions in the early weeks of the marketing campaign.

The issues with enjoying on the counter-attack appear to be they could lastly be behind them. Sitting deep and hitting on the break, which labored so properly in the early weeks of Solskjaer’s reign, was all properly and good towards open groups, however as opponents then started to sit down deep, objectives and outcomes shortly dried up.

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Roy Keane hails Manchester United’s ‘glorious efficiency’ after trashing Leeds United

It’s an issue that has taken money and time to repair, however it’s no exaggeration to counsel the arrival of Bruno Fernandes has been the key.

Across Solskjaer’s profession as United supervisor, United have picked up 2.15 factors per recreation after they have lower than 50 per cent of possession however when they don’t, that falls to barely 1.7 factors per recreation.

Since Fernandes has joined, that hole has been extinguished. In the 27 video games since his debut towards Wolves in January, United have a greater file with a majority of the ball than with out it.

Even so, as not too long ago as November 8, United’s 3-1 win at Everton was the solely factor that stopped them recording their worst begin to a league season in additional than 30 years. Their residence factors tally coming into Saturday’s recreation with Leeds was their lowest after six video games at Old Trafford since the Thirties.

“The name of the game is proving people wrong,” Keane advised Sky Sports after United trebled their residence aim file from this season in 90 quick minutes. “Maybe, just maybe, this group of players can do that.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer displays on their spectacular victory towards Leeds, the place Scott McTominay shone

That query mark will nonetheless stay till United can show themselves greater than a workforce with a streak in them; the variety which noticed them shake off a dreadful begin a yr in the past to lose solely two of their final 25 and sneak into the Champions League spots on the closing day.

With the hole to the leaders so slight, this may very well be the time. “If they can get their house in order at home, there’s no reason they can’t stay up there,” Keane added. United are on their greatest league run away from residence, with 10 straight wins on the street. “You wonder what they could do if they sorted out their home form.”

Perhaps that is the time. “We looked a fitter, stronger team,” was Solskjaer’s correct evaluation after demolishing Leeds. His facet had simply run 5km additional than of their opening-game humbling by Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. They have solely put in additional of a bodily shift on residence soil this season when holding Chelsea to a 0-0 attract late October.

Defensive points might show the supervisor’s largest concern nonetheless; his facet have saved three clear sheets all season, just one greater than Nineteenth-placed West Bromwich Albion. But on such a formidable run of away league wins, again to health on residence soil and even giving Keane motive to smile, it’s price questioning how shut United are to staying the course.

When is the subsequent Crystal Palace, when is the subsequent Arsenal? Who is aware of. But Keane is a person able to eat his phrases. “I think Liverpool are still the best, but there’s no reason why United can’t fancy their chances of pushing them.”

Leicester, Wolves, Aston Villa and Fulham are their subsequent 4 fixtures earlier than dealing with Liverpool in the new yr. Take this momentum to Anfield, and by no means say by no means.

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Sourse: skysports.com

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