Solskjaer makes dream start as Man Utd thrash Cardiff

Reuters , Saturday 22 Dec 2018

Jesse Lingard
Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (C) celebrates with Manchester United's Belgian-born Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira (L) after scoring their fifth goal (AFP)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a dream start as Manchester United's interim manager as his side thrashed his former club Cardiff City 5-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Solskjaer, handed control after this week's sacking of Jose Mourinho, spent a miserable nine months at Cardiff in 2014, getting them relegated from the top-flight.

However, he was quickly celebrating when Marcus Rashford scored with a fiercely-struck free kick from distance after three minutes.

United doubled their lead before the half hour mark. Ander Herrera was given time to unleash a right-footed shot from about 25 yards out which deflected off the head of Greg Cunningham and over the hand of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

Cardiff got a lifeline before halftime, however, after Rashford gave away a penalty for handball and Victor Camarasa sent the spot kick into the top left corner for only his second goal of the season.

Two minutes later, Anthony Martial started and finished a brilliant quick passing move to weave into the box and restore United's two goal cushion.

After the break, Cardiff defender Sol Bamba clumsily took down Jesse Lingard in the box and the forward got back to his feet to put resulting spot kick to Etheridge's right.

Another quick passing move from United set up Lingard to round the keeper and score in the 90th minute to put the seal on an emphatic win.

The result and the manner of United's play, with Paul Pogba restored to the lineup, indicated that Solskjaer has already managed to lift the mood after United's worst start for 28 years. They moved back up to sixth having briefly been displaced by Watford.

Neil Warnock's Cardiff, meanwhile, remain 17th and just two points above the relegation zone.

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