Ole Gunnar Solskjaer showered Harry Maguire with praise after his impressive performance in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Everton, against ‘one of the world’s best’ strikers in the air in Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The afternoon got off to a nightmare start for Solskjaer and United as Bernard capitalised on some poor defending from Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to break the deadlock in the 19th minute.
But an inspired Bruno Fernandes dragged the visitors back into the game at Goodison Park and put his side in front with a pair of quickfire goals before assisting Edinson Cavani at the death.
United captain Maguire has been under intense scrutiny – much like his manager – after a string of worrying displays for both club and country but the England centre-back was an immovable object at times versus an in-form Calvert-Lewin on Merseyside.
‘I thought Harry’s performance was top, of course, against, for me, one of the best in the world with his aerial play,’ Solskjaer said at his post-match press conference.
‘Calvert-Lewin with his timing in the air, his jump, his sprint, his athleticism and I thought we as a backline defending really well against him.
‘So I’m really pleased with Harry and the rest of them back there.’
Speaking to BT Sport shortly after the final whistle, Maguire said he was delighted with the way his side responded in the wake of their recent defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir.
‘We knew we had to get three points today,’ he said.
‘It’s early in the season and we don’t look at the table but the points we have accumulated isn’t good enough for this club.
‘It’s important to bounce back from setbacks. We did it at Newcastle.
‘We started the game really well but conceded a disappointing goal from a long, direct ball and we should have had better cover.
‘I think we know the first goal in Istanbul can’t happen. We went away to Turkey and knew it would be tough game. It made it a frustrating night for us and the individuals knew in the changing room straight after and held their hands up and apologised.
‘We are a good group who work really hard and we’re all in this together.’