BIRMINGHAM. — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United are a “different team” from the sluggish side that started the season after extending an unbeaten run to 17 games with a 3-0 win at Aston Villa.
United became the first team in English Premier League football history to win four consecutive games by a three-goal margin as Mason Greenwood continued his rise to stardom with another thunderous finish after Bruno Fernandes’s controversial penalty opened the scoring.
Fernandes then teed up Paul Pogba to score his first goal for over a year as United closed to within a point of the top four.
Pogba missed the majority of the season prior to the coronavirus shutdown due to injury, but his return to fitness and the January signing of Fernandes, alongside the emergence of Greenwood, have transformed United’s fortunes.
“He’s a fantastic person, fantastic player, one of the best midfielders in the world,” said Solskjaer on Pogba.
“He’s getting better and better because he’s been out for so long, which is natural.
“You can see he is enjoying himself. The team is a different team to the one he left when he was injured. The focus, the attitude, everything is miles better in that dressing room.”
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak could turn Pogba’s United career around.
Prior to the pandemic, the French World Cup winner seemed set to leave the club for the second time in his career.
But with interest from Real Madrid now unlikely to materialise this summer given the economic impact of the crisis, Solskjaer is hoping to extend Pogba’s contract beyond 2022.
Pogba, meanwhile, wants United to show their form of the last few weeks over the long haul to challenge newly-crowned champions Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title next season.
“We are talking in training that we have to carry on, that’s what Manchester is, it is a big club and the performances the last few weeks are the standard of Manchester,” Pogba told Sky Sports.
English Premiership Fixtures
Today: Norwich City v West Ham United (1:30pm); Watford v Newcastle United (1:30pm); Liverpool v Burnley (4pm); Sheffield United v Chelsea (6:30pm); Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City (9pm).
Tomorrow: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton (1pm); Aston Villa v Crystal Palace (3:15pm); Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal (5:30pm); AFC Bournemouth v Leicester City (8pm).
Monday: Manchester United v Southampton (9pm). — AFP.