‘Derby double proves Man Utd patience will pay off’ – Berbatov buoyed by Solskjaer’s progress

The ex-Red Devils striker believes two Premier League victories over arch-rivals Manchester City show that things are moving in the right direction

Manchester United’s Premier League double over arch-rivals Manchester City proves that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s philosophy is working and that patience will be rewarded, says Dimitar Berbatov.

The Red Devils have struggled to free themselves from a serious rut since seeing the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson head into retirement back in 2013.

There has been the odd glimmer of hope, with Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho delivering major silverware, but progress on and off the field has been slow.

Solskjaer is the man currently charged with the task of bringing the good times back to Old Trafford.

He has never shied away from the fact that he is overseeing a long-term rebuilding project, with time required to make the right transfer moves and assemble an intricate puzzle.

Questions have been asked of his ability to complete that challenge, but forward momentum was established prior to football locking down during the coronavirus outbreak and Berbatov sees cause for optimism.

The former United striker told Betfair of a side that has downed City on two occasions in 2019-20 while also taking points off Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal: “Very few people were expecting to see Manchester United beat Pep Guardiola’s Man City both home and away in the Premier League this season.

“To beat them twice was a big feat. I have said this before, but for me, City are not the team they were last season, they are in the shadow of Liverpool and they know it.

“Sometimes, that can play on your mind and it can affect the way you perform and the way you perform- if you are a clever enough opposition you will know how to use that and it was a perfect example of how to exploit City’s weaknesses.

“The two league results against City are a real positive for the club, it gives the manager and players the chance to say: ‘You see, we are capable to beat the reigning champions and we can do it’.

“Yes, United have had some bad games this season but they have proven that they are fully capable of turning up and putting on a strong performance against one of the best teams in the league.

“Sometimes, patience is a virtue, but when you work and follow your philosophy, in the case of Ole, at some point it will pay off.

“Looking at both of the games against City in the league, I really enjoyed to 2-0 at Old Trafford. Both of them are results that need to be cherished and both of them brought points to the table, but the match at home was proof that the first result wasn’t a fluke, they proved themselves.”

United are currently sat fifth in the Premier League table, while progress has also been made through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and last-16 of the Europa League.