AFTER a season away from the Champions League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men returned to action in style with a deserved 2-1 over much-fancied Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last Tuesday.
Solskjaer has sent a warning to Man Utd rivals, declaring that his side have “got their form back” after the win at Parc des Princes.
The knives have been out for the Norwegian after back-to-back home defeats to Crystal Palace and the 6-1 mauling at the hands of Tottenham.
But impressive wins over Newcastle and PSG have brought the smiles back to Old Trafford.
Chelsea is next up today and another good display and three points will surely mean that Man Utd is moving in the right direction.
There were some outstanding performers for Man Utd in Paris last Tuesday. Axel Tuanzebe did particularly well to thwart the threats of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe considering it was the 22-year-old academy graduate’s first senior match in 10 months.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Scott McTominay, new signing Alex Telles, Luke Shaw and Fred kept the expensively-assembled PSG frontline quiet for most of the match, while David de Gea had an excellent game in goal.
PSG came into this game as Champions League runner-up and had not lost a Champions League match at home since losing to Russian side CSKA Moscow in December 2004.
Man Utd were also deprived of captain Harry Maguire through injury and had Paul Pogba on the bench.
There have been plenty of positives in the last two games and the manager’s task is to build on the two victories as the fixture list coming up is a tough order.
The next three Premier League matches are against Chelsea today, followed by Arsenal next week and high-flying Everton while Champions League obligations continue against high-flying German outfit RB Leipzig and Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir.
Maguire should be back for the clash against Frank Lampard’s side but central defender Eric Bailly has been ruled out for four weeks.
It will be interesting to see who the Norwegian starts with today with Maguire back in the side. Tuanzebe and Wan-Bissaka look sure starters after their brilliant performance in midweek, but nevertheless it is a nice problem for any manager to have when players are in good form.
Chelsea opened their Champions League campaign with a frustrating scoreless draw against Sevilla and were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Southampton last week in a game where they led 2-0 after the first 30 minutes.
While the Blues have been pleasing to the eye in attack, it is their shoddy defence that has proven to be their downfall in recent times.
Individual errors by defender Kurt Zouma and under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga cost them three points against the Saints last week.
Though they finished fourth last season, Chelsea conceded 54 goals, more than any other team that finished in the top 10.
The Londoners were the biggest spenders in the summer, forking out £250mil (RM1.3bil) on seven players with defensive reinforcements Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy all impressing in the draw against Europa League holders Sevilla.
German duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz will be the danger men upfront for the Blues while the likes of Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic will be tasked to pull the strings from midfield.
It is early days still but both Solskjaer and Lampard will be going all out for full points so one can expect plenty of fireworks at Old Trafford.