Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that Manchester United ‘looked more like a proper team’ as they beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates to progress to the FA Cup fifth round.
It was an intriguing game in North London, with Arsenal dominating possession, but with Manchester United ruthlessly picking them off on the counter with devastating effect.
Alexis Sanchez got on the scoresheet on his first return to the Emirates since his acrimonious departure last January after latching onto a perfectly weighted through ball from Romelu Lukuku.
Lukaku was involved once again just two minutes later, sliding the ball through to Jesse Lingard, who coolly slotted home to make it 2-0, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tapped home from close range before half time to give the Gunners hope.
However, United sealed their passage to the fifth round when Anthony Martial tucked home a rebounded second-half Paul Pogba strike, and speaking after the game, Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with his sides performance.
“It’s fantastic to go through in the cup. It’s one of the hardest games you can get,” the Norwegian told BBC Sport.
“I’ve had a headache since I came because the squad is full of good players. It’s up to us to pick the right tactics and players. We need to rest a few as there’s big games coming up. But we have fresh legs.
“Today we looked more like a proper team. We looked more structured. We’d worked hard at defending and counter-attacking. Counter-attacking is classic Manchester United – Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ji Sung-park – we’ve scored so many at Arsenal over the years.
“Today was a big step forward. It was a massive improvement from the Tottenham game. It’s easy to get excited and talk about the future but we need to just keep working and think about the next game.
“We had to dig deep. The attitude and work-rate was important. Towards the end, it was comfortable but not during the 90 minutes.”
The result means Solskjaer has won all eight of his games in charge, including tough away games at Spurs and Arsenal.