Phil Neville Drools Over Arsenal FA Cup Loss – There Was A ‘Gulf’ In Class

United sealed passage through to the fifth round of the tournament with a 3-1 victory at the Emirates on Friday night.

First-half goals from Alexis Sanchez – a former Gunner – and Jesse Lingard saw United race into a 2-0 lead, though the deficit was reduced by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang moments before half-time.

Anthony Martial wrapped the victory in the 82nd minute after latching on to a parried Paul Pogba shot.

Victory in north London was United’s eighth in a row and further reinforced the positive influence caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjar has had on the team since succeeding Jose Mourinho at the Old Trafford helm.

Neville was thoroughly impressed by what he saw of his old side, who believes were a cut above Unai Emery’s men.

“Paul Pogba was brilliant in the second half, that drive going forward, Arsenal didn’t have that,” the former United and England international said.

“I thought there was a gulf between the two teams tonight.”

United have enjoyed a renaissance under Solskjaer, who has shattered the club’s record for most consecutive wins upon being appointed manager.

Neville believes the Norwegian deserves immense credit for the job he’s done, saying: “At the start people accused Ole of winning easy games, then he went to Tottenham and won.

“The players that were not performing under Jose are now performing the way we knew they could.”

He later added: “It was a brilliant performance from United. “I think what we have seen from Ole is that it’s more than just giving people love it is about tactical awareness.

“The two substitutions at the end there sealed the game, brilliant performance from United.”

Solskjaer was delighted with the result, saying: “It’s fantastic to go through in the cup. It’s one of the hardest games you can get.

“I’ve had a [selection] headache since I came because the squad is full of good players. It’s up to us to pick the right tactics and players. We need to rest a few as there’s big games coming up. But we have fresh legs.

“Today we looked more like a proper team. We looked more structured. We’d worked hard at defending and counter-attacking.

“Counter-attacking is classic Manchester United – Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ji Sung-park – we’ve scored so many at Arsenal over the years.

“Today was a big step forward. It was a massive improvement from the Tottenham game.

“It’s easy to get excited and talk about the future but we need to just keep working and think about the next game.

“We had to dig deep. The attitude and work-rate was important. Towards the end it was comfortable but not during the 90 minutes.”

United will next be in action on Tuesday night, welcoming relegation-threatened Burnley to Old Trafford.

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