Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Marcus Rashford Win EPL Manager, Player of the Month

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Barclays Manager of the month Ole Gunnar Solskjaer  (L) and EA Sports Player of the Month Marcus Rashford pose at Aon Training Complex on February 07, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Premier League)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been named the Premier League's Manager of the Month for January, while Red Devils striker Marcus Rashford has won the player's award.

The Premier League announced Solskjaer had won the award on Friday:

Likewise, England's top flight named Rashford as the Player of the Month on the same day:

United played four league matches in January, and Solskjaer guided them to three wins and a draw.

The Red Devils grabbed 2-0 and 1-0 wins away at Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively, before beating 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion at home and drawing 2-2 with Burnley, also at Old Trafford.

Per OptaJoe, no other side in the division took as many points as United's 10 in January.

Rashford scored in each of the three victories. United's attacking players have largely been in superb form since Solskjaer took charge, and Rashford has perhaps encapsulated that more than any other:

It's a significant change from Jose Mourinho's final months in charge. Under the Portuguese coach, United hadn't strung together three consecutive wins in the Premier League this season.

Mourinho guided United to two major trophies in his first season—the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League—and to second in the league in his second, while his predecessor Louis van Gaal won the FA Cup in 2016, but neither of their reigns were characterised by a great deal of positivity on or off the pitch.

United fans have to go back to Sir Alex Ferguson's reign to find that. While Solskjaer is less than two months into his tenure, it has been a welcome return to form for the Old Trafford faithful:

The Press Association's Simon Peach put Solskjaer and Rashford's award into further context:

Thanks to the pair's efforts, United are just two points off the top four, having been 11 behind when Solskjaer took charge.

They got February off to the perfect start as Rashford fired them to a 1-0 victory at Leicester City.

United face Fulham, Crystal Palace and Liverpool in their remaining Premier League games this month. Should they continue to pick up strong results, Solskjaer could become the first manager to win the award in consecutive months since Pep Guardiola did in 2017.  

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