Manchester United news: How Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already bettered Jose Mourinho

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a perfect start to his Manchester United reign and has already done something his predecessor Jose Mourinho never managed.

The former striker and cult hero was appointed interim manager until the end of the season after Mourinho got the sack on December 18.

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Solskjaer couldn’t have dreamed of a better start

Since then, the Red Devils have scored 12 goals in wins over Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth – more than they ever managed in a three-game Premier League stretch under Mourinho.

In his two-and-a-half seasons in charge, the Portuguese never saw his side score more than 10 in three league games.

Their best run occurred when they opened the 2017-18 season with back-to-back 4-0 wins over West Ham and Swansea and added a 2-0 success against Leicester (having also wrapped up 2016-17 by beating Crystal Palace 2-0).

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Mourinho never managed this many goals in three games

Another indication of United’s improvement is the form of Paul Pogba, whose relationship with Mourinho regularly came under scrutiny.

The France star scored twice in both the 3-1 win over Huddersfield and the 4-1 success against Bournemouth.

Those two games have therefore brought him more goals than his 14 appearances under Mourinho this season – despite being the former manager’s designated penalty taker. Jesse Lingard took on spot-kick duties for Solskjaer against Cardiff.

Pogba also set up goals for Lingard and Ander Herrera in the 5-1 rout of Cardiff and Romelu Lukaku against Bournemouth – doubling his season’s assist tally – as he revels in a more attacking role ahead of Herrera and Nemanja Matic.

And Lingard believes the Frenchman is back to the swashbuckling player he grew up with in the United academy.

“He’s enjoying his football,” Lingard said of Pogba, who he won the FA Youth Cup alongside at United in 2011.

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Pogba has been unstoppable since Mourinho’s departure

“He’s playing in the role he likes to play in just inside off the left. He has the freedom to make things happen. He has always got forward in that position and scored goals.

“Ole has helped him 100 per cent. He has given him the confidence and licence to be free and play his game and do what we know he can do.

“I can definitely, definitely see the Paul I used to know. I have seen him playing through the ranks and he is back to that player, the player we know.”

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