Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is home, and Manchester United continue their brilliant run of games under the caretaker manager.
Old Trafford saw a splendid bout of attacking football, as Nemanja Matic was able to find a rare goal from a well-worked set-piece to open the scoring in the first half, while Paul Pogba’s second-half brace sealed three points for the side on Boxing Day.
While Huddersfield did pull back a goal late in the second-half via Mathias Jorgensen, the night was Solskjaer’s for the taking. Here are five talking points from the encounter:
1. True United Style
Under the Norwegian, it does feel like United are playing the way they ought to, in the manner in which Old Trafford hasn’t been witnessing for many years now. Full-backs Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw functioned as practical wingers on the night.
In fact, the sheer speed and vision that Dalot displayed makes it all but certain that the duo may man the club’s flanks for several more years to come.
As for the rest of the team, a stark difference is being observed from the sides that Mourinho fielded, with this set of players maintaining solid possession, stringing together creative passes, and maintaining an all-round attacking ethos. More of the same, please.
2. Wagner’s Job In Danger
It wasn’t that Huddersfield didn’t perform well during the game, rather they were fielded against an impeccable opposition. David Wagner’s side now sits deep in the relegation zone, the bottom-most team in the league, with just 10 points to its name.
While a relatively easy list of fixtures await them for the next three games, Wagner’s job may be in some danger given how they have been suffering consistent games bereft of any points. Will a mid-season change grace them in a bid for change?
3. Solid Clean Sheet Robbed From David De Gea
Despite the three points, David De Gea will be kicking himself. This is the second time in two games that a silly mistake has cost the Spaniard the clean sheet.
On the one hand, his stature as the best goalkeeper in the world was justified by the sort of saves he made on the night, one of them bound to make it into his best of all time.
However, failure to do anything about the late goal has ensured that De Gea has kept only two clean sheets all season, and that United have conceded an unbelievable 30 goals. Plug the back come winter?
4. Angel Gomes – The First Of Many?
The late introduction of Angel Gomes, while a second Premier League start, felt like a debut all on its own due to it being a different gaffer bringing the 18-year-old on.
It is clear that Solskjaer has been keen on maintaining the club’s ethos of developing talent from their youth system, and bringing on Gomes was a great indication of just that.
Now, it seems all but certain that the youngster won’t be the only one to benefit of this, with the likes of Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong also potentially in the waiting.
With fixtures in the FA Cup coming close, it seems the perfect time to try out these budding talents and see what they may be capable of.
5. Pogba’s Back
Two decisive goals and a solid game, Paul Pogba has shown Jose Mourinho just how big of a mistake he made. The Frenchman was showing hints of the solid midfielder that won the World Cup in the summer.
His power during the game was a testament to what United were missing, and the cool manner in which he slotted in the winner is a display of just what he is capable of.
Now that the Norwegian gaffer has given him great freedom up front, it will be interesting to see just how much damage Pogba will be capable of inflicting going ahead.
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