Manchester United’s players fought hard to earn a 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
It took a last ditch block from Eric Bailly in the 95th minute to ensure United left Old Trafford with all three points.
This was a big win in the picture of the Premier League table. United are now joint top with Liverpool, in second on goal difference.
Psychologically it was important to seize this opportunity and keep up this momentum.
These United players have survived knock backs of important but infrequent defeats in 2020 and come back stronger each time.
The players posts on social media showed how pleased they were to begin 2021 on a positive note.
There is understandably talk about a title challenge, and a lot may depend on the game against Liverpool at Anfield in mid-January.
We are just 16 games into a 38 games season though, and the players cannot get too carried away.
Solskjaer made this clear with his post-game comments, in which he called for improvements.
The manager told the club’s official website: “Don’t get me wrong, I am delighted with the three points and very happy with the performance but there are always things we need to improve on.
“It is early in the season and we shouldn’t be too carried away yet. It isn’t a cup final yet, but those two extra points are important.”
United’s next game is a respite from the Premier League challenge, but no less important. It is a Carabao Cup semi-final tie with Manchester City at Old Trafford.
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