Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is relishing Sunday’s showdown with Liverpool and insists his players are ready for “a great test” after Manchester United claimed top spot in the Premier League.
Paul Pogba’s deflected second-half volley secured a 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor that saw United open up a three-point cushion over the champions ahead of their clash on Super Sunday – live on Sky Sports.
The victory also extended United’s unbeaten away run in the league to 15 games and means they sit top of the pile after 17 games for the first time since their last title-winning campaign under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2012/13.
“It’s a brilliant position to be in,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “Of course we know we’re going to the champions who have had an unbelievable three-and-a-half-seasons, we know it’s going to be a difficult game for us, but we are ready for it.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better time to play them because we are in good shape, good form and hungry, which is a good thing because these boys want to get better and that’s the test of their character and quality.”
In his post-match press conference, Solskjaer added: “We’re looking forward to it. Of course, we enjoy being where we are [at the top of the league] at any time, be that the first game or the last game, which is a big, big difference.
“We’re looking forward to it, it’s a great test of where we’re at against a good team. We’re almost halfway through the season so it’s a little bit of an indication of where you’re at, but no one will remember the league table on January 12.”
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United’s latest victory on the road featured a number of contentious VAR decisions, with Robbie Brady and Luke Shaw both escaping more severe punishment for challenges at either end of the field in the same passage of play before Harry Maguire saw his first-half opener controversially disallowed.
“We’ve just got to accept once in a while that decisions will go against you and Harry’s goal was a perfectly good one, so it’s a decision we shouldn’t be sat there talking about,” Solskjaer added.
“[Brady’s last-man] foul against Cavani and the red card, of course you go back to foul Luke did. I’ve not seen it yet, so I can’t really comment on that one.
“But half-time helped us. I thought we came out second half and played really well and deserved the win.”
Neville: Why can’t Man Utd fans believe?
Sky Sports co-commentator Gary Neville refused to rule out Manchester United winning the Premier League after going top at Burnley and encouraged United fans to “get carried away” ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.
“It’s a big win, to go top of the league before Sunday feels like a big moment in the sense that six to eight weeks ago you wouldn’t have thought Manchester United would have been anywhere near this position,” Neville said.
“[The game at Anfield] is a little bit more exciting and l am going to enjoy these next three or four days!
“Liverpool were the best team in the league last season by a stretch. Eight weeks ago, they were probably everybody’s absolute certainties to win the league. I don’t think people are veering away from that too much and this isn’t a moment to get carried away.
“But it shouldn’t stop Manchester United fans get carried away in the next few days. Why shouldn’t they? It’s been a really difficult few years and there have been times when Manchester United have looked a million miles away from the top of the league. So to be top of the league, three points clear of a really good Liverpool side, in January, isn’t expected.
“I don’t think anyone is saying Manchester United will win the league but the fact that they are in a title fight…wow. I never would have imagined it.”
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