In Summary
  • They are sixth in the table, still eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, but Solskjaer said the win was a shot in the arm for his team after two disappointing draws
  • The Norwegian described City as "arguably the best team in England" even though they trail Premier League leaders Liverpool by 11 points
  • Paul Pogba will be absent again following his ankle injury but Anthony Martial returns to the squad

MANCHESTER

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says smiles are back on the faces of his Manchester United players after their victory against Tottenham as he prepares to take on defending champions Manchester City.

United ruined Jose Mourinho's Old Trafford return on Wednesday, winning 2-1 to end their former manager's perfect start to his reign at Spurs.

They are sixth in the table, still eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, but Solskjaer said the win was a shot in the arm for his team after two disappointing draws.

"Confidence is a strange thing in football," he said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. "You can get performances and results like Wednesday night and it boosts it so much.

"And I know our boys will be up for it, energy-wise they should be fine, 24 hours less recovery time shouldn't matter (City played on Tuesday), go on adrenaline. I expect them to have had a good night's sleep and the smiles are back on faces."

The Norwegian described City as "arguably the best team in England" even though they trail Premier League leaders Liverpool by 11 points.

"I said it before (Spurs) that this is a chance for everyone. It was doom and gloom, but it's a chance to turn that doubt into belief and, for us, if we can manage to get another performance the confidence, the way we played against Tottenham, if we can do that at the Etihad we can come out of it with a result.

"People say 'why do you not have better results in other games?'. But the Premier League is hard.

"No matter who you play, it's margins, I think it's a compliment to the league. You've got City, Liverpool, Leicester consistent, but the other games are really tight."

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