'Just be Manchester United' – Solskjaer reveals Rooney advice after the Red Devils thrash Cardiff

United were irresistible in seeing off Cardiff as they began life after Jose Mourinho with a 5-1 win

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told his players to “be Manchester United” before their rousing 5-1 win against Cardiff on Saturday.

Jesse Lingard scored twice to add to goals from Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial at the Cardiff City Stadium as United put on an electrifying performance to blow away the cobwebs that had collected during the final sorry weeks of Jose Mourinho’s reign.

Caretaker boss Solskjaer, installed until the end of the season after the Portuguese was sacked on Tuesday, restored Paul Pogba to the starting line-up after the World Cup winner was left out of Mourinho’s team for last weekend’s 3-1 capitulation to Liverpool, and he wasted little time in re-finding the form that once made him the most expensive player in world football.

And the Norwegian revealed after the game that he has received advice from United’s record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney on how to re-ignite the attacking energy that been lost under the Portuguese.

“Football is easy if you’ve got good players,” Solskjaer told BT Sport . “They are a great bunch of players and their quality is unbelievable.

“I arrived on Wednesday night and only had Thursday and Friday with the players. Wayne Rooney texted me and gave me some advice – so it must be down to him! He told me to make them play football, enjoy themselves and be Manchester United.”

United impressed on all fronts going forward, and their dominance was threatened only briefly when Victor Camasara’s penalty pegged them back to 2-1 midway through the first half.

It was in stark contrast to the lifelessness of the team’s final performances under Mourinho – United had gone into the game with the fewest goals scored of any side in the top six and more goals conceded than 15th-place Newcastle.

“We had a session yesterday about patterns of play and we wanted Ashley Young and Luke Shaw to push on more,” said Solskjaer. “It worked out well today.

“Your work-rate is the easiest thing to work on. It is free. It is the attitude and application of the boys.

“If we approach all the games like this – and we want them to approach them all like this – with combination play and playing the ball forward then I’ll be happy.

“The foundation was in the defending today. I thought the two centre-backs and two full-backs were brilliant today.”

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