Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it's just like the old days at Manchester United
Last Updated: 03/03/19 8:14am
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted by Manchester United's old-school spirit after digging deep to secure a thrilling comeback win against struggling Southampton.
Old Trafford bore witness to an electrifying encounter on Saturday afternoon, when Andreas Pereira's stunner and a thumping Romelu Lukaku strike cancelled out an outrageous first-half effort by Yan Valery.
There was still time for more drama, though, as Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse curled home a stunning free-kick.
But this was to be United's day and Lukaku struck home two minutes from time in a 3-2 win that propels Solskjaer's side back into the top four.
This was a Premier League record ninth time that United had come from behind to beat Saints and former striker Solskjaer certainly felt like this was a throwback to the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
"The manner of it is like the old days. I've been part of that so many times myself," the caretaker boss said.
"So pleased for the boys that they managed to claw three points out of this game.
"We spoke about at half-time, just get some more urgency get the ball in the box, play more forward and the Stretford End will suck the ball in for you.
"Don't want to take much away from Andreas and Romelu's great finishes but we felt that support is just part of this club, this history, done it so many times before."
However, the Norwegian was also honest enough to say United's play lacked its usual "class" on the day.
"Character and belief, more than quality (were why they won)," said Solskjaer. "Quality in the three finishes, but apart from that, we lacked a little bit of that class really.
"We should have been two up after five minutes, so some good football, but the finishes were not good enough.
"Some good saves by their 'keeper, but we are here, three points, so we are happy. We have done it so many times here."
Solskjaer did, though, have special praise for Lukaku, whose second-half double turned the game on its head after United went in trailing at the break.
"I've been part of so many games like this at Old Trafford towards the Stretford End in the second half," he said.
"We spoke about it at half-time - just get a goal, stay in the game and that Stretford End will always suck a ball into the net for you.
"We can't praise Romelu enough for that finish, but then again, towards the Stretford End is the best place to score a winner.
"They got two unbelievable strikes, they did not create a lot, but the two strikes were fantastic. And that sucker punch that we got on 2-2, 15 minutes to go, it is great to see the boys respond as they did.
"As they did against Burnley here, 2-0 down with five minutes to go, so we know the character is there, personality is there, the crowd is with us, so one of those nights."
United took advantage of Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Tottenham earlier in the day to move a point clear of the north London club in fifth ahead of the two teams meeting at the Emirates next weekend.
"There is three points up to Tottenham and now we have one point more than Arsenal, it is going to be exciting the last nine games," said Solskjaer.