United celebrate Solskjaer’s appointment by returning to top four

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MANCHESTER: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer´s reign as permanent Manchester United manager began on a victorious note with a 2-1 victory over Watford on Saturday to move into fourth spot in the Premier League.

Goals by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial — Abdoulaye Doucoure getting a late goal for the visitors — took them above Arsenal and level on points with third-placed Tottenham, who play at Liverpool on Sunday, boosting Solskjaer hopes of achieving his first goal of securing Champions League football for next season.

It was not vintage United as Watford had more shots on target and more corners than their hosts, but it was much needed after successive defeats against Arsenal in the Premier League and Wolves in the FA Cup.

But it was a good reminder, if one was needed for the new permanent manager, that there is plenty of hard work ahead if Solskjaer wants to make United contenders for the title again.

His record over the 19 games in interim charge, and how he has lifted the mood around the club, had made his appointment as Jose Mourinho´s successor a foregone conclusion.

The Stretford End was in no doubt about their former hero getting the job as a giant banner was unfurled as he emerged from the tunnel before he could take his position in the dugout.

Watford start brightly

But it was the visitors who started the brighter as Doucoure dragged a shot wide from a promising position while David de Gea had to claw away a header from Troy Deeney.

Watford have an FA Cup semi-final on the horizon against Wolves next Sunday and a place at Wembley must have given the players a spring in their step as De Gea had to deal with further efforts from Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu.

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