Manchester United’s willingness to defend as a unit has been key to their recent success, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils have been in superb form since football resumed after the enforced break caused by the coronavirus pandemic, claiming seven points from their three Premier League games and beating Norwich City in an FA Cup semi-final.
Their latest win came on Tuesday, as a fine Mason Greenwood goal and two strikes from Bruno Fernandes sealed a 3-0 league win over Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium that moved United back into fifth, two points behind Chelsea in fourth.
That result means United have conceded just twice in their last eight Premier League games, with Solskjaer keen to stress it is because of a concerted effort from the whole side and not just the defence.
“You can see with the quality of the talent we have going forward that we have a foundation to play from,” he told a media conference. “We have a good shape, do good pressing and have a back four that’s used to each other.
“There’s lots of reasons behind the clean sheets, which is the foundation for any good team.
“We know that we are 11 men attacking and defending – we defend from the front. We know how difficult it is to play Brighton and to stop them getting into a rhythm. We have a screen in front of the back four, which is difficult to get past. We’re very happy with the shape and intensity.”
Solskjaer is pleased with United’s form since the return to action but is keen not to get carried away, given they are a whopping 34 points behind champions Liverpool.
“It’s been good since the restart,” he added. “We agreed what we wanted to do and we have come back fitter and stronger and we are ready to challenge.
“We have many games coming up we will keep changing, players are getting better and sharper and we have players who had a fantastic season who haven’t played.
“We are too far behind to be on the road to something special [this season] but the team is improving. We are still in the FA Cup, Europa League and in the race for the Champions League.”