Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reflects on Man Utd progress since Arsenal loss amid Liverpool talk

Man Utd: Neville pops champagne as Red Devils go joint-top

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United have “improved immensely” from the side that started 2020, as his side moved level with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.

With a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, United extended their unbeaten league record to 10 games, with eight of those matches ending in victory.

That run of form has seen the Red Devils close the gap on the champions, to now be on a par after 16 games played.

It’s been a remarkable turnaround, after Solskjaer’s side were winless in their first four home matches of the season.

And the Norwegian has claimed he has seen a genuine development in his players’ physical skills in the last 12 months.

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“Of course we are happy with what we are doing,” he said following the victory. “We have shown we have improved a lot in a year.

“We lost to Arsenal away last new year’s day.

“We have improved immensely. We are getting fitter and fitter and stronger and stronger.

“These players have a great age. They are learning and are hungry to learn which is important.

“They come in every day with a hunger and desire to be the best on match day. They have been focused.”

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Goals from Anthony Martial and another Bruno Fernandes penalty earned United three points, but it was a tought night’s work for Solskjaer’s side, against  tricky Villa team.

The United manager wasn’t completely happy with his team’s performance, suggesting they lacked a clinical edge at Old Trafford.

He added: “You are always delighted with three points, the performance was good and we created chances.

“We had a good save at the end and Eric Bailly made a fantastic block so that probably saved two points for us.

“It was maybe a little too open and we wasted chances. We tried to play the Hollywood pass instead of securing the first one and using the space that was there.”

United ended 2020 as the third best Premier League team, picking up 65 points – a total only bettered by Liverpool and Manchester City.

But with a potential title challenge coming in 2021, Solskjaer is hoping for a more positive 12 months, not only on the pitch, but in life in general.

“It can’t be any worse than 2020 for any of us so fingers crossed for everyone,” he said.

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