The Red Devils ended their rivals’ long unbeaten run as goals from Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw secured a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium – though they still remain 11 points adrift of the runaway leaders.
Martial has struggled for form this season, netting just four league goals, but he won United’s early penalty which opened the scoring and was a constant menace throughout the contest.
The Frenchman was a major injury doubt going into the game and Solskjaer was delighted with the impact he was able to make and hopes it is the beginning of a return to his old form.
‘I thought Anthony was absolutely superb today. He was more of the Anthony of old,’ Solskjaer told Sky Sports after the game.
‘He turns, gets hold of it, and to think he was a doubt this morning!
‘Until two hours before the game, until after the warm-up to be fair, I wasn’t sure if he was going to play or not. So fantastic. That was the same with Luke.’
‘Of course today he rediscovered himself I feel. He was really strong on the ball and positive.
‘And we have to be positive, we have to be a positive team. We want to play at a high tempo, of course we do, but we had to defend well.
‘You’ve got to defend so you can attack spaces that appear.’
Asked if United’s win had reopened the title race, Solskjaer added: ‘No, we just take one game time. They are too far ahead to think we can catch them. They have been excellent. Even today they put you under so much pressure.’