Manchester United host Everton this Sunday on an afternoon when they will be looking to keep their momentum after two impressive Premier League wins.
But it was the Toffees who were responsible for the worst result of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign so far, the 4-0 thumping at Goodison Park in April.
United have the chance to avenge that defeat this weekend and doing so would enhance Solskjaer’s belief that his side has improved greatly since last season.
How bad were United at Goodison?
There won’t be many United fans who want to relive that afternoon on Merseyside.
United were absolutely woeful from start to finish; devoid of energy, creativity and commitment.
A 4-0 thrashing against a mid-table side was what the display deserved, and United didn’t win thereafter until the end of the season.
Can United avenge that defeat?
United played almost as badly as they did at Goodison at Bramall Lane last month, but Solskjaer took solace from the way his side staged a rapid recovery in the second half.
Quoted by the Sun, he said after that 3-3 draw: “Their energy compared to ours in the first half and then we get that goal and we start to believe.
“The difference in the team this year compared to last is huge. They never give in. Last year we would have gone four or five down instead of coming back. We would not have been able to come back.”
Not giving up is a relatively low bar for a side of United’s ambitions but Solskjaer’s side have a chance to prove him right on Sunday.
Six of the side who played at Goodison will not take to the field this weekend – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.
That underlines the scale of the overhaul Solskjaer has attempted despite only signing three players last summer and he will hope that emphasis on energy, tenacity and commitment can reap dividends and banish the ghosts of his worst day in charge of the club he loves.
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