5-star Manchester United rediscover their swagger on EPL topsy-turvy day

5-star Manchester United rediscover their swagger on EPL topsy-turvy day

Sunday, December 23, 2018 2:29 pm

Paul Pogba: back in Manchester United’s squad

Manchester United began their brave new world under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a glorious reminder of long-forgotten attacking swagger by hitting Cardiff City 5-1 on Saturday.

This was on a day neighbours Manchester City stumbled to the most unexpected defeat of the 2018/2019 English Premier League (EPL) season.

They had a sensational 2-3 reverse against Crystal Palace at their Etihad fortress.

But Manchester United seemed liberated and re-energised after Jose Mourinho’s midweek sacking as they romped to a big win at Cardiff City.

It was the first time they have scored five goals in the league since the final match of the golden Alex Ferguson era in 2013.

After a traumatic week which saw the end of Mourinho’s two-and-a-half-year reign, Manchester United seemed mentally and physically re-born.

They played with verve, pace and attacking intent that reflected the smile of their still fresh-faced caretaker boss and old club hero Solskjaer.

He was beaming after three minutes when Marcus Rashford’s free kick put Manchester United ahead.

Further goals before halftime kept the smile there.

The goals by Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial — after a dazzling passing interchange — and a second-half double from Jesse Lingard made it a perfect start for the Norwegian.

Manchester United, with Paul Pogba back in the fold, poured forward in a free-spirited manner.

This was rarely seen under Mourinho as Solskjaer lifted the gloom of Manchester United’s worst start in 28 years.

“Football is easy if you have good players. This is such a great group of players. The quality is just unbelievable,” the modest Solskjaer said, as both his team and ex-Manchester United players, headed by Wayne Rooney, all praised the instant ‘Ole effect’.(Reuters/NAN)

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