Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed what was a “proper” performance from Manchester United as they claimed a 3-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates to reach the FA Cup fifth round.
Alexis Sanchez scored against his former club to give Man United the lead after 30 minutes, with Jesse Lingard springing forward on the counter moments later to double his team’s advantage.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang pulled one back but United never looked especially troubled in the first half, making sure of the victory with another counter-attacking goal from Anthony Martial after Paul Pogba had sprung forward.
Speaking after the game, Solksjaer voiced his delight with what was a ‘classic’ United performance at the Emirates.
Solskjaer to the BBC: "Today we looked more like a proper team. We looked more structured. We'd worked hard at defending and counter-attacking. Counter-attacking is classic United – Rooney, Ronaldo, Ji Sung-park – we've scored so many at Arsenal over the years." #mufc
— Rich Fay (@RichFay) January 25, 2019
Ten years ago, under Sir Alex Ferguson, United sprung forward at the Emirates to score a death-blow of a counter-attacking goal, with Cristiano Ronaldo putting the final touch to the move. They won that game 3-1.
Five years ago, under Louis van Gaal, United, attacking the same goal, did the same thing, with Wayne Rooney killing Arsenal’s spirit by scoring on the break. 2-1 to United was the score this time.
Last season, under Jose Mourinho, Jesse Lingard did it as well – twice – to once again squash all the life out of Arsenal. They won 3-1 again.
And here we are, present day, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel, those dark blue shirts streaming up that luscious Emirates green like a cannon-ball, beating the Arsenal press, scoring yet another ruthless goal on the break in that same corner, exactly like they did ten years ago.
By this point, the Emirates was half-empty. Arsenal fans – their team 3-1 down once again, the game going exactly the same way it always does – know this story all too well.
Never change, Arsenal. Never change.