Man Utd: Solskjaer says Red Devils to get ‘mojo’ back
If Manchester United’s 9-0 anihilation of Southampton proved anything, it is probably not to get a player sent off after two minutes. The Saints’ daunting task was made almost impossible when Alexandre Jankewitz was dismissed for a horror tackle after just 82 seconds.
The match was rarely a contest after that, but United still needed to be professional and dangerous to break down a side that were happy to sit on the edge of the box.
It was a challenge their failed to overcome just last week, when they were embarrassed on their home turf by basement boys Sheffield United.
But first-half goals from Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, a Jan Bednarek own goal and an Edinson Cavani header, laid the foundation and ensured they would be no such difficulties this time around.
But perhaps the lasting point that was proved to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is the vital importance of summer signing Cavani.
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The Red Devils’ search for a centre-forward was a protracted one and one that looked like it would come up empty.
But in the final hours of that window, they sanctioned a deal for the Uruguayan after his release from Paris Saint-Germain.
And after arriving in England, there were some question marks about how much the 33-year-old would add to United’s attack.
After all, the trio of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial brought good success last season and looked to be their strongest.
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Much of Cavani’s early showings came off the bench, with his second-half cameo in the reverse fiture against Southampton the undoubted highlight.
But since Christmas, he has become a more regular starter and either side of his FA enforced suspension, he has started five of United’s last seven games.
With the experienced striker leading the line, United look a much more dangerous position and his influence on the game played a key role in asserting their dominance on Tuesday night.
His goal was merely the icing on the cake of a performance that showed just how important and effective he can be in the Premier League.
BT Sport commentator Robbie Savage urged Solskjaer to start Cavani at every available opportunity and it’s clearly something he must now consider.
The idea of Jose Mourinho resting a fully fit Harry Kane or Brendan Rodgers doing the same to Jamie Vardy, appears very unlikely.
The fact he withdrawn Cavani at half-time resting him for future battles, perhaps highlights the acknowledgement of his growing influence in the Old Trafford dressing room.
In a short period of time, Cavani has made that kind of impact on this Man United team and Solskjer must follow their lead, as they look to win their first title since 2013.
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