Roy Keane hailed a "proper Manchester United performance" after watching his former side beat Manchester City 2-1 in the derby.
After beating Tottenham in midweek at Old Trafford, United have now won back-to-back games for the first time this season, and now sit just five points off the top four to lift the weight off Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's shoulders.
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United were scintillating for 30 minutes, scoring twice through Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, then defended manfully for the remainder whilst being in control of the game for large periods.
Keane was delighted with what he saw from his former club.
"I absolutely did not see this coming," Keane said.
"It was fantastic - a proper Manchester United performance. Lots of bravery and personality. They were outstanding.
"I don't think beating Tottenham was a big deal at home, but that win today will give the players a lot of confidence as they have been criticised - nobody likes to be criticised.
"But hats off to Manchester United, whatever happens in January with the speculation, question marks over Ole, they were outstanding.
"This was a Manchester United performance.
"It wasn't all about how they countered attacked, it was how they managed the game, got blocks in and showed personality.
"I really enjoyed watching them - it's what Manchester United is all about. But the key is to be consistent, week-in, week-out. Hopefully these young players will pick up on that."
Nev staying grounded
Despite being mightily impressed with the way United performed, Gary Neville was staying grounded in terms of what is required from the club in January.
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Neville believes Solskjaer still needs to be backed in the next window and add some much needed experience to the dressing room.
He said: "It's been painful over the last five and six years and the players have taken criticism, rightly so. Performances like at West Ham, Aston Villa and Sheffield United are nowhere near good enough.
"But that's a different level today.
"That's what they can do. There will still be inconsistencies as they are young and are not performing week-in, week-out at the same level. It does give you hope that there is something there that can produce that level of performance.
"It will give the squad confidence, but it doesn't change what United need to do in January. They need to get some experience to bolster that squad. They need it desperately. Scott McTominay and Fred have done brilliantly but they can't do it every week.
"It gives Ole a bit of breathing space and the confidence he can win big games as shown in the last four days."
Ole: We look like a Man United team
Solskjaer was delighted most of all by how his side reflected what he considers to be the quintessential Manchester United side, showing attacking intent when they could.
He also said United had beaten the best team in the world, with the best manager in the world, and insisted his doubters are going to have tough times ahead.
He told Sky Sports: "We're playing against the best team in the world, for me, the best coach in the world, it's so hard to play against them.
"It's a Man United performance, in my mould. I love boys going forward when there's a chance for them. We're improving all of the time. The boys are getting experiences to remember.
"There's more hard times for the doubters out there, because we'll keep on working the way we're doing, and we keep on believing in what we're doing. It's just about getting results, and more and more people will see what we're trying to do."
And he said in his post-match press conference: "We do look like a Man United team, and that's the big thing for me.
"I've seen the improvement since I came. Of course we've had to reshape the squad, change the culture of the squad, change the way we want to play.
"Even though I remember last season's away game, it's not nice to see that City are so much better than us, they're the best team in the world, but today we've come away with some dignity."
"We've worked on counter-attacks ever since I came to the club. That's Man United. It sounds negative, the 'counter-attack', but for me it's quick, attacking, flowing football, with the right intent."
Pep: I'm pleased with how we played
Despite being firmly second best for the majority of the first half, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insisted his side did what he asked of them.
He also insisted that no matter how small or big the gap is between them and Liverpool, he will always take it game-by-game, and will not prioritise the Champions League.
He told Sky Sports: "We concede three or four counter-attacks in the first half. I'm more than happy for the performance we have done. We pushed them, create chances, and concede two or three, but in general I am delighted and happy with the performance we play.
"In 90 minutes you can't expect to control everything, so when you lose this ball. But with the approach and the way we play, I was delighted. But no regrets at all.
"We are a little bit more [open], sometimes it happens, but with these four players up front, it's normal, but in general we played a good game.
"I know who we are as a team. I'm delighted to work with these guys, in the second half we tried and tried, unfortunately we scored late and couldn't turn the result."
When asked about the gap to Liverpool, Guardiola said: "It's not time to think about this. We think about the next game, but it's unrealistic to think about it, to catch up, it doesn't matter if we are 6, 7, 14, 25 points, we have to continue. We are a fantastic team, we play so good."