Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and Liverpool are slugging it out for the 2020/21 title, with United’s 2-1 win at home against Aston Villa moving the club level on 33 points with their bitter rivals, albeit the Merseyside outfit have a superior goal difference.
However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still refusing to be drawn into title talk, saying “I’m very happy with the position we find ourselves in, such a big difference to 12 months ago. You can lose the chance to be in the title race in the first 10 games. It’s a good position to be in, but we need to get better. If you can win games like tonight, it will make a big difference.”
“Of course we are happy with what we are doing,” Solskjaer told the BBC. “We have shown we have improved a lot in a year. 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.”
“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,” he said.
“You are always delighted with three points. We had a good save at the end and Eric Bailly made a fantastic block so that probably saved two points for us.”
Anthony Martial’s goal just before half time was a superb diving header, and with the striker growing in confidence, his manager believes the form of the Frenchman will be crucial to the clubs fortunes in the coming months.
“I love diving headers. Anthony will improve and be better. He’s had chances this season — he’s still getting them but he’s not had the luck. Tonight we saw a better version of Anthony, a more confident one.”
“We’ve had some chats, and we’ve spoken about last season and how important he was then and will be now. Good players know form is temporary, but he’s proven his class and he will get better and better,” concluded Solskjaer.
While the manager is still downplaying talk of a title run, his club find themselves in their highest position on New Years Day since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season – the last time United were crowned Champions. The game at Anfield on January 17 is shaping up as a summit showdown, and Anthony Martial may once again prove to be the difference maker.