STYLISH SOL­SK­JAER RE­TURNS TO HAUNT BLUE­BIRDS

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT - DO­MINIC BOOTH Foot­ball Writer do­[email protected]­line.co.uk

SO, Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer can win a game of foot­ball – and in style – at Cardiff City Sta­dium. Un­for­tu­nately for Neil Warnock’s Blue­birds, he was in the away dugout as Manch­ester United pro­duced an in­spired dis­play of at­tack­ing foot­ball to tri­umph.

Mar­cus Rash­ford, An­der Her­rera, An­thony Mar­tial and Jesse Lin­gard were all on the score­sheet, with Vic­tor Ca­ma­rasa’s penalty the only con­so­la­tion for Cardiff on a chas­ten­ing evening in the Welsh cap­i­tal.

The Sol­sk­jaer reign could hardly have got off to a bet­ter start as Rash­ford smashed a free-kick be­yond a stat­uesque Neil Etheridge in­side the open­ing four min­utes.

It had come from an Aron Gun­nars­son trip on Paul Pogba, the mer­cu­rial mid­fielder who had been re­called by Sol­sk­jaer, lin­ing up along­side Mar­tial, Rash­ford and Lin­gard in a for­mi­da­ble-look­ing United at­tack.

For the open­ing 20 min­utes, the Red Devils looked lib­er­ated, Mar­tial charg­ing at Bruno Manga and caus- ing prob­lems from the word go.

For a time, it seemed Cardiff had weath­ered the storm, with the chances dry­ing up for United. But Pogba was at the heart of their se­cond, find­ing Her­rera with a fine pass for the Spaniard to strike into the top cor­ner via a de­flec­tion off Greg Cun­ning­ham.

Cardiff got a life­line to­wards the end of the first half when Rash­ford con­trolled with his arm in the United box and Michael Oliver – who’d pre­vi­ously re­ceived a tor­rent of abuse from the home fans – pointed to the spot.

Ca­ma­rasa kept his head from 12 yards to give the Blue­birds hope. But no sooner had the ball nes­tled in David De Gea’s net than United were re­spond­ing al­most in­stantly with a fine team goal.

It in­volved Lin­gard, Pogba, Rash­ford and Mar­tial and was al­most dizzy­ing to watch, with the lat­ter stroking into the cor­ner.

United con­tin­ued where they left off when the game re­sumed af­ter the break.

Lin­gard’s mazy run dumb­founded the Cardiff de­fence and drew the foul from Sol Bamba, with Oliver given an­other easy de­ci­sion to give the penalty. Lin­gard duly con­verted from the spot.

Warnock rein­tro­duced Ken­neth Zo­hore - for the first time since an Oc­to­ber sub­sti­tute ap­pear­ance against Liver­pool - as the Blue­birds’ chances dwin­dled.

Josh Mur­phy forced De Gea into a good save, sec­onds af­ter Rash­ford had spurned a great chance to make it 5-1.

United had fur­ther chances, with Pogba tested Etheridge with a curler and Phil Jones fir­ing at the goal­keeper, with Bamba nod­ding a gap­ing chance wide for the hosts.

And, de­spite some late spirit from the Blue­birds, Sol­sk­jaer was able to sit even more com­fort­ably as Lin­gard rounded Etheridge to tuck home a fifth and com­plete a tri­umphant re­turn to Cardiff City for the Nor­we­gian.

Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer cel­e­brates a dream start to his Man Utd reign

An­thony Mar­tial is con­grat­u­lated on United’s third goal by Jesse Lin­gard, who would add the fourth and fifth for the vis­i­tors

Vic­tor Ca­ma­rasa scores from the penalty spot for the Blue­birds

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.