Cardiff City 1-5 Manchester United: Four Things We Learned

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be thrilled with how Manchester United played on his debut, as the Red Devils won 5-1 away at Cardiff City, in a match everyone wanted to watch. It was mostly because it was Solskjaer’s first match in charge, but by half-time, everyone wanted to watch it for the entertainment it brought.

And that is something that we did not get to say too often in recent years. United scored early on through Rashford, before Herrera made it 2-0. Camarasa scored for Cardiff, but it was Martial who made it 3-1 before half-time. In the end, Jesse Lingard added two goals in second half to make it a beating.

Freedom Is Beautiful

“Now, with Solskjaer, a system could be instilled, but the football must be enjoyable too. This will be about performances, not just results and early signs are positive ones.”

This is what we said just yesterday about Solskjaer at Man United. What we got in the end was the Man United scored five goals in Premier League for the first time in post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, the previous such feat coming in his last match before retiring. United fans had to wait five and a half years for that, but when it came, it was so pleasing to watch. Man United players seemed unshackled, ready to play from the off. Their energy was amazing through out and as Neil Warnock said afterwards – this looked like Man United.

Pogba Looked A Different Player

It was a match where everyone was going to look at Paul Pogba and his performance. The Frenchman often looked poor and even slightly uninterested in Mourinho’s final days at the club, but against Cardiff he was eager to play and show himself. He made two goals, the second for Herrera and the fifth for Lingard.

But that was not all he did. He also created chances throughout the match and orchestrated the players around him, making 111 touches, at least 24 more than any other player on the pitch.

Cardiff Should Be A Reminder

Yes, this was only Cardiff, but that should be a reminder for the Devils. Way too often in the past seasons did Man United play incredibly one day and then the next match look overconfident and sloppy, as if the opponents were going to get beaten by themselves. It is for Solskjaer and his players to change that in upcoming festive matches. This confidence should carry the team forward, rather than make them lackadaisical once again.

Lingard Proves What He Could Become

Jesse Lingard scored two goals and assisted the third for Anthony Martial and this was the match where we could see what he could become for Man United. He is already 26 and he is not going to become a world-class player, but he can be a very good player in a proper system. His energy was magnificent, he never stopped running and he roamed around the way he usually does. His involvement with and without the ball in those pockets between the lines is a very useful tool and Solskjaer could truly get a lot out of the England international.

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