Ex-players hail ‘huge step’ for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Ex-players hail ‘huge step’ for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils

Manchester United have taken a "huge step" in their development under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with yesterday morning's (Singapore time) English Premier League win over local rivals Manchester City, but they must back it up with another big display, former captain Roy Keane has said.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay, after mistakes by City custodian Ederson, helped United seal a 2-0 victory over the champions to remain in fifth and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games.

"There's a long way back, but it was a huge step. I've given City huge praise over the last few years... but I felt like it meant more to United than City," Keane told Sky Sports.

"They've been under a lot of pressure and criticism. I've been critical, but United have done well. It's a big boost for Ole. The atmosphere was fantastic.

"But, when you get a big win, you have to follow it up."

Keane's ex-United teammate and fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville hailed their first league double over City in a decade.

"It still doesn't give them what they want, in terms of a Champions League place or a top-four finish, but something like that was a big moment," Neville said, praising midfielders McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes.

"I was thinking about the midfield and, universally, United fans would say it's been pathetic for 18 months... all of a sudden United have a midfield when it had been non-existent.

"Are they the best group of United players that have been here in the last eight years? No, not for a talent. But they're a far easier group to like because they want to be here."

Meanwhile, ex-Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton believes City need a defensive overhaul in the summer.

He wrote in his Daily Mail column: "We witnessed a goalkeeping and defensive disaster class from Manchester City and a defeat which summed up the sloppiness of their season...

"Despite their extensive spending, City's defence requires significant surgery."

Ex-City defender Micah Richards added on Sky Sports: "It doesn't really feel like a derby any more. There weren't that many challenges going in. City played possession football without creating too much.

"People will say it wasn't such an important game for City as it was for United but, to the City fans, it is."