Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed his side’s defensive abilities after Manchester United kept a clean sheet in their 2-0 win against Newcastle United on Wednesday evening.
Two second half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford earned the Red Devils a fourth consecutive win, whilst they were also able to prevent the Magpies from scoring - a fact that Solskjaer pointed to as a building block for future success.
Solskjaer was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “A fourth clean sheet in open play on the spin. And finally, we kept a clean sheet on set pieces. I thought it was a very professional performance.”
After the first half ended 0-0, Solskjaer introduced two definitive substitutes in the second period that changed the game. Romelu Lukaku was on the scoresheet with his first touch after a mistake from Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka to finally give Manchester United a much-needed breakthrough against a stubborn Magpies defense.
And fellow substitute Alexis Sanchez provided the assist for Marcus Rashford to wrap up the points late in the game. The Norwegian admitted his side struggled against Newcastle prior to the duo’s arrival and hailed the contribution of Lukaku by adding:
“In the first half, it was like a testimonial at times - too slow. But a very professional performance in the end - we were in control and kept plugging away.
“A great strike by Marcus [Rashford] and great reaction by Rom [Romelu Lukaku]. When you the keeper sees big Rom running towards you, I think you will take your hands away.”