Interim Manchester United boss Michael Carrick dedicated his side’s win over Villarreal to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as he praised his charges for bouncing back after the Norwegian’s departure.
The Red Devils secured first place in their Champions League group with a win in Spain Today (Tuesday November 23).
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho scored to secure a 2-0 victory in Spain, ensuring they took the three points from their first match under Carrick, who replaced recently sacked Solskjaer on the bench.
United’s first win in four matches ensures they progress to the second round of the competition and the new trainer admits it has given them a huge boost after a difficult spell for the club.
“I said to the players it’s not been an easy couple of days for everyone at the club, I can enjoy it so much but that result feels like it’s for Ole and I can’t get away from that,” Carrick told reporters after the final whistle.
“We had a job to do and when I was there and things needed to be taken care of I was happy to do it and thankfully it all want to plan at the end.”
United captain Harry Maguire added to BT Sport: “It’s massive for our season.
“The last couple of months have been nowhere near good enough and we needed to get a result for our season and our fans. We need to make sure that’s just the start and we push on.
“It was tough and edgy in the first half. It was important to stay in the game and I thought the lads who came off the bench really helped us push on and the second-half performance was really good.
“The emphasis was getting a result. Coming away from home in Europe you have to be solid. We got what we deserved in the end because of the chances we created.
“We want to be on the front foot and aggressive and in the first half maybe we played with too much fear. But we spoke about that and the first goal came from pressure.”
United are top of Group F with 10 points after five matches and are guaranteed to finish top of the group.
They take on Swiss side Young Boys in the final game of the round on December 8.
The Red Devils will be looking to build some momentum at the weekend when they take on Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
United are 12 points behind Thomas Tuchel’s team heading into the clash, having taken just four points from their last seven matches in the English top-flight.
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