Danny Murphy has claimed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his staff will be happy with Manchester United ’s record against the ‘Big Six’ despite taking just five points from a possible 21.
The Norwegian has been criticised for what many perceive as a negative approach in some of their biggest games of the season.
But BBC pundit Murphy, believes their more cautious approach has made them more difficult to beat, playing a key role in their rise to 2nd in the table this season.
“Sunday was not the first time this season that Manchester United have been cautious in a big Premier League game – they have done it plenty of times before, either against historical rivals or teams around them in the table,” he told Match of the Day 2.
“In the league in 2020-21, they have played Chelsea and Arsenal twice, plus Manchester City and Liverpool, and not scored a goal or won any of those six games.
“It is easy to jump on that statistic and say ‘this is United’, and they should they be doing better in those matches and beating their rivals, to get closer to City at the top of the table.
“I am sure Solskjaer and his staff will look back and think that in one or two of them they could have been a bit more on the front foot – their 0-0 draw against a depleted Liverpool at Anfield in January, for example.”
He added: “But there is another side to it – you have to remember Manchester United have still picked up some good points along the way, and they have not conceded many goals either, just one in fact.
“Their 6-1 home defeat to Tottenham in October probably started this, and made Solskjaer think that his side have to become harder to beat when they play the top teams.
“So, that’s been their mindset going into these matches, and that has helped put them in second place, unbeaten away from home in the Premier League and with only one defeat anywhere in their past 20 league games.”