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Solskjaer: 'Derby win the best I've seen United play so far'

Solskjaer: 'Derby win the best I've seen United play so far'
© Reuters
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial struck in the first half to seal victory at the Etihad.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his side looked like the old Manchester United as they inflicted a damaging derby defeat on champions Manchester City.

United boss Solskjaer hailed the best performance of his reign as first-half goals from Marcus Rashford, from the penalty spot, and Anthony Martial set up a 2-1 Premier League win at the Etihad Stadium.

It was a thrilling encounter, although the game was marred by crowd problems including an alleged racial gesture from a City supporter towards a United player and the throwing of missiles.

— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) December 7, 2019

While City were left to rue a defeat that left them 14 points behind leaders Liverpool, it was a result that breathed further life into United's campaign after their midweek victory over Tottenham.

Asked if it was the best his side had played, Solskjaer said: "If you consider who we were playing against and where we were playing them, yes, I think so.

"We were playing against a team with some top players and they're going create chances against any team, but we did our best to make this an entertaining game because the chances we created were massive.

"I was so happy with the way we started the game. The way we created big chances, we looked like we'd score every time we had the ball.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) was left celebrating a superb win
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left celebrating a superb win (Mike Egerton/PA)

"The intent was there to go forward, it was not about keeping it or slowing it down, we'd go for the goal, go for the kill.

"We should have had three or four up but, then again, we were playing against the best team in the world, so you have to defend well because they are so good. I'm very pleased with how our boys dealt with everything."

Both of United's goals came in the first half during a spell of counter-attacking football that also saw Rashford shoot wide when well placed and hit the bar. Ederson was also forced to make a number of saves.

City boss Pep Guardiola claimed his side's approach was no different than normal but on this occasion they were punished by a clinical United.

He said: "I like my team, how they played. We conceded a little bit more than usual but we knew the pace they have with (Daniel) James, Martial and Rashford.

"Sometimes it is not possible to control it because when you lose the ball it is difficult.

"In general we did what we liked, we arrived in the final third many times. Unfortunately we cannot finish a little bit more but I like to watch my team like this.

Pep Guardiola was pleased with his side's display
Pep Guardiola was pleased with his side's display (Martin Rickett/PA)

"We conceded four or five counter-attacks, that's all. I think all the teams know it happens.

"Normally we are able to control it but today we struggled a little but in the first half. Sometimes this can happen, especially for the quality of the opponents."

With Liverpool beating Bournemouth earlier in the day, City's hopes of winning a third successive title are receding rapidly.

Guardiola said: "If we were only five points behind, 10 points, 14, 20 – we would have to continue.

"I have said many times in the last weeks we have to continue. If we are not able we are going to try next season."

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
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2Manchester CityMan City23153564273748
3Leicester CityLeicester23143648232545
4Chelsea2312383930939
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd239773627934
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10Arsenal2361163032-229
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12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2385102234-1229
13Southampton2384112942-1328
14Burnley2383122638-1227
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2367102631-525
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2265112634-823
17Watford2358102034-1423
18Aston Villa2364132944-1522
19Bournemouth2355132036-1620
20Norwich CityNorwich2345142345-2217

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