Victor Lindelöf repays Solskjaer faith with big match performances

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to persevere with Victor Lindelöf was vindicated after back-to-back world class performances against two of the league’s best sides.

The Swede’s displays against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City were arguably two of his best since joining the club in June 2017.

Up until the big six clashes, Lindelöf was having an inconsistent campaign, which had led to calls for Axel Tuanzebe to be given the opportunity to partner Harry Maguire.

However, a combination of injuries to the likes of Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo and faith shown in him by Solskjaer has allowed Lindelöf to play his way out of a testing spell.

Lindelöf came into the clash against his former manager Jose Mourinho fresh off the back of scoring his first goal of the season against Aston Villa.

The 25-year-old looked confident and with a point to prove to the Portuguese coach, who questioned his physical capabilities during his stint as a Sky Sports pundit.

He backed up his performance against the man that brought him to Manchester with an even better showing in the Manchester Derby.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Lindelöf’s only blip against City was when he gave the ball away cheaply in a dangerous area, but luckily for United’s number two, he had Aaron Wan-Bissaka to bail him out.

Lindelöf showed how much he was zoned in at the Etihad with a crucial block to deny Kevin de Bruyne’s goal bound effort and then celebrated like he had scored the winning goal.

Difficult tests lie ahead

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

The match ups against Gabriel Jesus and Harry Kane suited Lindelöf as it allowed the Swede to get on the front foot and intercept passes into the strikers and pinch possession.

Spurs and City are two of the best footballing teams, but a lot of their attacking play was played in front of United’s defence, there weren’t too many runners in behind.

Lindelöf is at his best when he isn’t having to run back towards goal or having to jostle with powerful number 9’s.

United’s next four Premier League games come against Everton, Watford, Newcastle United and Burnley.

The Iceman is likely to come up against the likes of Troy Deeney, Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes, Joelinton, Andy Carroll and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

These will be matches where the opposing teams will adopt a direct approach and Lindelöf’s aerial presence and strength will put to the test.

Solskjaer will be hoping that Lindelöf’s outstanding form continues and he shows that he is capable of rising to different defensive challenges in the weeks ahead.

It’s probable United rotate Tuanzebe in during some of the upcoming games with the fixtures so close together, but for now, United’s first choice partnership is pretty clear.

If Lindelöf comes through this testing run of matches unscathed, his partnership with Maguire will have reached new heights.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.