Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said the Premier League game against Leeds United on Sunday could have ended in 12-4 because his team are now fit and hitting form.
United hammered Leeds 6-2 at Old Trafford, with Scott McTominay scoring twice in the first three minutes before further strikes from Bruno Fernandes (two), Victor Lindelof and Dan James took the Red Devils to third on the league table before Christmas. United are also five points off leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
However, Solskjaer is not getting carried away but insists after six wins in their last seven in the league, his team are coming into good shape, after a delayed start to the season due to their involvement in European competition at the end of the previous campaign.
“That was fantastic,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “From the first minute we had a plan to get after them, go forward when we got the ball and of course Scott gets two goals in the first three minutes which is a great start to the game.
“We found a way of getting [the Man Utd players] going. Just imagine if that had 75,000 people here, it would have gone down in history as one of the better Man United performances against Leeds here at home.
“We’re one third into the season, not even at the halfway point. So league position is not something we’re going to look at. We look at improvement in the team, look at improvement in fitness – because we knew we were going to be lagging behind in fitness and I think it showed in the first few games.
“But now we showed we’re getting a fitter and stronger team.”
Despite dishing out a heavy defeat on Leeds, Solskjaer praised the intensity of Marcelo Bielsa’s side and said the scoreline could have been even more eye-catching.
“You have to earn the right to win it by running as much or even more than them,” he said. “That’s a challenge against Leeds, who are one of the fittest teams in the league. That will be interesting to see the stats.
“Then the man-marking [by Leeds], there were a couple of movements that we worked on that worked at times.
“It could or should have been 12-4! It was that type of game.
“You know it’s going to be frantic, hectic against them. No matter what the result is, 5-0, or 5-0 down, or 0-0, they have a certain attitude and style that make you have to work and you have to concentrate every minute.”