After Manchester United beat Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded Alexis Sanchez for his display.
The Chilean opened the scoring with a delightful finish after a brilliant defence-splitting pass from Romelu Lukaku, before Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial also found the net to secure a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium.
Sanchez not only managed to grab his fifth goal in a Man United shirt but he also finally managed to show his class on the biggest stage, after an underwhelming first year at Old Trafford which has seen his quality questioned on numerous occasions.
The enigmatic star was facing a career crossroads while Jose Mourinho was in charge, but under Solskjaer he seems to be relishing the chance to play in a free-flowing, direct set-up which has garnered eight consecutive wins now across all competitions.
Speaking after the game, the United caretaker boss singled out Sanchez for praise, insisting he will only bet better as the season progresses.
“It wasn’t like Alexis had an open goal, it was a great finish,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “Every player, the more confident you get the more you want to get on the pitch and train and work on yourself and you trust yourself.
“He has been injured lately so it was great to see him get 65-70 minutes tonight and he can only improve and I think he knows that himself.”
The Red Devils suddenly look like contenders for silverware again, putting their nightmare first half of the season behind them to emerge as an irresistible, swashbuckling force capable of beating anyone.
Solskjaer has given the players the freedom they need to express themselves and got the best out of the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Sanchez just as they were all questioning their future’s at the club.
The Norwegian went on to express his belief that the win over Arsenal was his best yet at the helm, before looking ahead to the club’s next Premier League fixture against Burnley.
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“It was a massive step forward for us performance wise, as a team, the structure in the team was miles, miles, miles better compared to Tottenham a couple of weeks ago where we hung in there and David (de Gea) saved us,” Solskjaer added – as per Sky Sports.
“Today, Sergio (Romero) had a fantastic save at the start of the first half, but our structure was miles, miles, miles better.
“We have been working on that, we need to dig in and defend properly against good teams.
“I am not here to get excited, I am here to keep on improving the team, improving the players and just look to the next game.
“It is a league game, a massive league game for us at home again. Tomorrow we will enjoy sitting back in the chair and enjoy watching the FA Cup.”