MANCHESTER – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as permanent Manchester United manager began on a victorious note with a 2-1 victory over Watford on Saturday to move into fourth spot in the Premier League.
Goals by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial – Abdoulaye Doucoure getting a late goal for the visitors – took them above Arsenal and level on points with third-placed Tottenham, who play at Liverpool on Sunday, boosting Solskjaer hopes of achieving his first goal of securing Champions League football for next season.
It was not vintage United as Watford had more shots on target and more corners than their hosts, but it was much needed after successive defeats against Arsenal in the Premier League and Wolves in the FA Cup.
But it was a good reminder, if one was needed for the new permanent manager, that there is plenty of hard work ahead if Solskjaer wants to make United contenders for the title again.
His record over the 19 games in interim charge, and how he has lifted the mood around the club, had made his appointment as Jose Mourinho’s successor a foregone conclusion.