This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on Sky Sports, Manchester United legend Roy Keane has hailed his former side’s performance against Manchester City, admitting that he didn’t see it coming.
Having brushed aside Tottenham in mid-week, the Red Devils turned up to the Etihad on Saturday with a bounce in their step. And in a breath-taking display of counter-attacking football – particularly in the first-half, United clinched a 2-1 victory over their noisy neighbours.
Following the game, Keane showered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with praise, and insisted that it represented exactly what the team should be about.
He said: “I absolutely did not see this coming. It was fantastic – a proper Manchester United performance. Lots of bravery and personality. They were outstanding. I don’t think beating Tottenham was a big deal at home, but that win today will give the players a lot of confidence as they have been criticised – nobody likes to be criticised.
“But hats off to Manchester United, whatever happens in January with the speculation, question marks over Ole, they were outstanding. This was a Manchester United performance. It wasn’t all about how they counter-attacked, it was how they managed the game, got blocks in and showed personality. I really enjoyed watching them – it’s what Manchester United is all about. But the key is to be consistent, week-in, week-out. Hopefully these young players will pick up on that.”
Whilst their victory over Jose Mourinho’s Spurs was no doubt a terrific occasion, their triumph on Saturday just feel that lot more seismic. Solskjaer’s future at the club has been in uncertain in recent weeks, with reports even claiming that he is fighting for his job at Old Trafford. But the Red Devils’ superb win over the Premier League champions proves that perhaps the club’s board should now be more confident with the Norwegian at the helm.
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Their first-half performance was mesmeric, and they played City off the park in their own backyard. As per Sofascore, they had five shots on target compared to the home side’s two in the opening 45 minutes, and that period alone was enough to secure the three points. It should now be regarded as the benchmark to any United display from now on, and if they can match it, they will feel very confident in making huge strides.