Solskjaer has been in search of a significant moment since he took over as United’s manager. His side completed the Premier League double over derby rivals for the first time in a decade.
Solskjaer’s moment of significance might have showered down on him yesterday night. It felt like it at the conclusion of Manchester United’s first Premier League double over City since 2009-10, the first since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
The heavy burden of the mammoth job was in a way, being lightened. His name resounded around the stadium as he shielded his eyes trying to find his family in the crowd.
The Norwegian has been struggling as much as his side to convince “doubters” this season. However, the thunderous encounter was a personal nightmare for Manchester City. Their goalkeeper, Ederson gifted Solskjaer’s side both goals in sharply contrasting fashion.
He allowed Martial’s routine shot to squirm under his body from a quick Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick. As if that wasn’t enough, he threw a clearance straight to Scott McTominay. With no hesitation, McTominay sent a long-range finish into the net.
Rather, with a run of 10 games unbeaten, Solskjaer has now the opportunity to clear away some of the doubts come season’s end.
The clouds that seemed to be closing in during the first months of the season have for now rolled away.
It should not be a time to get carried away
Solskjaer will be judged on United’s final league placing. The club is 37 points behind Liverpool. This is a gap any Man United manager will eventually be required to bridge.
You might have realized there is a change of mood and momentum at Old Trafford in a few weeks. Addition of an operator who looks a genuine class act in Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon looks to have worked out the “magic”. Probably, the best signing of the season.
The Portuguese provide United with a focal point, a game-changer and a player whose speed of thought and action is already offering the team a new dimension.
Solskjaer’s cause has been helped by other smart pieces of recruitments too. Aaron Wan Bissaka is a superb investment for now and the future. He is another example of England’s riches at right-back.
As who still remain to be fully convinced of Solskjaer’s credentials must not be churlish enough to avoid giving the boss full credit when it is due.
He has overcome Manchester City and Pep Guardiola thrice this season.
Nonetheless, the final judgment on Solskjaer’s first full season in charge must be reserved and shaped by these final weeks of the season.