Danny Murphy: I saw a team that wanted to fight for the future of coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during Manchester United’s impressive 3-1 win over Everton

  • Manchester United scored an important victory at Everton after two poor results
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were great from start to finish against Everton
  • It appears the players wanted to fight for their coach despite outside pressure
  • Harry Maguire also had his best performance so far after a tough start this year

This was Manchester United’s performance of the players fighting for their manager, a great show from start to finish and a great response to a lot of criticism. There are different ways of looking at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure. Lots of numbers. A lot of opinions. I’ve read a lot of these in the last week.

I’ve never been in a boat that you have to get rid of at the start of the season. He’s hired, knowing the players and how successful they were in finishing last season gave him credit for the bank. United should not make any rash decisions.

A result like this, the tough win over Everton, will give them confidence after the international break when United have some less difficult matches, albeit in a short period of time.

Manchester United put on a superb performance beating Everton at Goodison Park

Their performance showed that they wanted to fight for coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under pressure

Their performance showed that they wanted to fight for a coach under pressure, Olly Gunnar Solskjaer

It was the contradiction on the team that was so weird. Great results are quickly followed by bad results, and then good results again.

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This is not what usually happens with the big clubs. But from what I saw in Goodison Park, every player was a transform. And we weren’t always able to say that this season.

Bruno Fernandez has produced some of that magic that we know he can do in the important moments.

I also thought that was Harry Maguire’s best performance this season, as he faced Dominic Calvert Lewin who was in great shape. Some of Maguire’s defensive strikes were under exceptional pressure and he won the ball at the edge of the penalty area to begin moving to score Manchester United’s third goal.

We tend to over-criticize the top players when they are not playing well, but it was great to see him return to his best. This is what we expected of him.

Edinson Cavani scored his first goal with a great final. Just before that, I liked that he pressed and closed the ball in the last stages. He had no ego, he came with a hungry attitude to do his homework for the team. Whether he’s a desperate signature or not, he’s going to play a big role with United this season.

Bruno Fernandez produced some moments of magic and helped inspire them for victory

Bruno Fernandez produced some moments of magic and helped inspire them for victory

So what’s the secret to getting that consistency? I think Solskjaer needs to stick to the same discipline and people for a series of games. Building some momentum.

On Saturday, he returned to the formation that succeeded him. When they played the diamond system, they were everywhere.

Fred and Scott McTominay were brilliant and disciplined at holding in midfield. The inclusion of Juan Mata was clever.

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He may not have the sportsmanship of Daniel James or Mason Greenwood, but he is a very smart player, he has a high level of ownership and ties in well with Fernandez. It makes United more balanced.

Harry Maguire made his best game so far after a tough start to the season

Harry Maguire made his best game so far after a tough start to the season

Solshire got it right and keeping it like this is the key going forward. Stick to a discipline that works best for your players, and don’t try to cram your players into one.

I can’t see where Paul Pogba fits in the top 11 United at the moment. From everything I hear he’s so lovable and I don’t think he’s a big deal. But his salary and status dictate his stay at the club. If he is not part of the United starting line-up in the future, he will have to leave.

Solskjaer must take care of the team and himself. If that means putting a big name like Pogba off the bench, this is where he has to stay. The team is always more important.

I can't see where Paul Pogba fits in the top 11 Manchester United startups at the moment

I can’t see where Paul Pogba fits in the top 11 Manchester United startups at the moment

For Everton, they suffered on the right side. James Rodriguez is a great talent, his creativity can open up any defense, but his tracking of Luke Shaw wasn’t very good for United’s first two goals.

I know Carlo Ancelotti did not show him due to his defensive capabilities, but if he is going to play on the right of three forward, one of the Everton midfielders has to come to the back to help. That’s what Jordan Henderson does for Liverpool when Mohamed Salah is on the right, and he wins games.

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What he showed me was that without the full squad, Everton lacked a little. Richarlison is a big miss. They’ve just brought back Lucas Denny, Seamus Coleman and James recently got injured.

This is where the big teams like United and Liverpool have more choice and power in the rear. United have the likes of Pogba and Cavani on the bench. Everton does not have that luxury.