Manchester United raced to a six-goal victory at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park on Sunday afternoon.
It’s the first time the Reds have found the net six times in a single match since August 2011 when they hit eight against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
A thoroughly satisfying victory was peppered with confidence-boosting goals for under-performing players. Here’s what we learnt…
Solskjaer retains faith of his United squad
United’s manager may be under pressure, and rightly so, but this performance was indicative of the support he still retains from his squad. That’s not always been the case with under-performing managers at the club.
Despite a rocky start, United’s players’ attitude was exemplary and professional. They blew Tranmere away in a matter of minutes and controlled the game from Harry Maguire’s opening goal onwards. There was little sitting back either once Mason Greenwood had struck home from the penalty spot for number six.
Keeping the support of the dressing room may not be a great achievement but it’s important for Solskjaer to do so if he’s to continue at United.
Maguire can dominate games
Again, any lesson ‘learnt’ from this game comes with the major caveat of the level of opposition. With that in mind, Harry Maguire put in a captain’s performance at Prenton Park.
His first-half goal was a superb strike and he dragged United forward from there. Given space, it’s clear how much quality Maguire can give to the game, helping to dictate the tempo and create chances for United.
It’s a shame that he can’t hit this level of performance in other fixtures but it was a confidence-boosting display for United’s skipper/
The Portuguese right-back has had a tough time on the sidelines. The manager who brought him to United, Jose Mourinho, has left the club and Solskjaer has paid £50m for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. But Dalot started at Tranmere and excelled in a wing-back role that involved little defensive work.
Dalot offers a good alternative to Wan-Bissaka
It’s a reminder that he’s a very different option to Wan-Bissaka.
Dalot’s played on the wing for United before and can provide some attacking impetus from wide positions.
Now he’s back from injury, Solskjaer may start to rotate Wan-Bissaka out for certain games.
Lingard gets goal to boost confidence
It was his first goal in 13 months and Lingard celebrated just as passionately as Dalot had done for his effort.
Both needed the confidence boost, as did Maguire, and this provided it. Lingard has underperformed for far too long amid various off-the-pitch issues.
It speaks volumes about the lack of quality in United’s team that Lingard starts but for this season at least, it’s a necessity at times.
And because of that, to see Lingard finally get a goal was pleasing. He’s dealt with enough abuse in recent months and the goal will allow him some restbite from that and an opportunity to get back into good form.
Glazer protests continue
Despite winning 6-0, sections of United’s away end stayed in their seats after the final whistle to continue singing “We Want Glazers Out”.
The rest of the anti-Woodward and Glazer repertoire was on rotation throughout the match. This is the most sustained spell of such sentiment being voiced loudly for some time. It’s not going to stop any time soon.
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