26 points from the 30 available in their last 10 matches saw Manchester United throw an unlikely title challenge to Liverpool.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer heaped praises on his players after they defeated Aston Villa 2-1 to go level with table-toppers Liverpool in Premier League.
A year ago today, United had lost 2-0 at Arsenal to drop 24 points behind the defending English champions despite played two games more.
This seasom looked a reflection of their past few seasons as Manchester lost two of their opening six league games. Even a top-four finish had seemed out of reach at the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign.
But with other top-ranked teams stumbling and the Red Devils taking 26 points from the 30 available in their last 10 matches saw them throw an unlikely title challenge to Liverpool.
“Of course we are happy with what we are doing. We have shown we have improved a lot in a year,” said Solskjaer.
“We are getting fitter and fitter and stronger and stronger.”
Bruno Fernandes has been the key figure in transforming United’s fortunes over the past 12 months and the Portuguese again provided the winner to edge out a rapidly improving Villa side.
“It’s early on in the season and we shouldn’t be carried away,” added the Norwegian. “The league this season is going to be so tight.
“There are going to be difficult games, strange results, but since ‘Project Restart’ I think we’ve been very consistent.”
The breakthrough came five minutes before the break and owed much to Pogba’s ingenuity with the Frenchman finally starting to find form despite the speculation over his future.
Pogba and Marcus Rashford combined to send Aaron Wan-Bissaka free down the right and his cross was headed home by Martial at the near post.
In another match of the day, Evertom continued on their downfall after a brilliant start to the season. Carlo Ancelotti’s men lost 1-0 at home against West Ham.
“It was not a good game,” said Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“We didn’t have opportunities and we didn’t concede opportunities, they had a lucky deflection and we lost the game. We could play with more intensity and more quality up front.”