Their campaign will still take some revival after the horrors of the 6-1 defeat to Spurs … and faces a bigger test than a trip to ‘tame’ Newcastle when they travel to PSG in the Champions League on Tuesday .
But it was, indeed, a start. It was a return to dominance on the pitch to stifle, for the time being, the uncertainty surrounding Solskjaer’s future, the disruption of Paul Pogba’s transfer talks and Harry Maguire’s scrutiny.
There was a masterclass of Juan Mata, 32, who left the pitch to chants of Mago – Magician – from the loud United bench whose vocal support during the match demonstrated team spirit.
Mata’s brain polls saw him complete 59 of 63 passes, including 32 forward.
Marcus Rashford, playing as a central No9, was full of pacy running which led the Geordies in tatters.
Harry Maguire held his head up high and came out of his England red card nightmare with a morale-boosting goal.
The chaotic, sloppy line that fell apart at Spurs last time around was ruthlessly rearranged by Solskjaer – Pogba and Nemanja Matic on the bench – and he was rewarded for a brave rejig.
The Reds have made 28 shots, the most in the Premier League this season, 14 on target, and only the excellence of Karl Darlow, until he was injured, kept them at bay.
Portuguese star Fernandes said: “The team has great characters and great players. The moment against Tottenham cannot happen again because we are a great team. This club is better than that. Everyone, not just a, b and c, but everyone, starting with myself.
“It was perfect, after this loss, we did well.
“Everyone says we need a defender, a midfielder, a winger, a striker, but it’s easy from the outside to talk and say we need all.
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“We have to look outside of each other, help each other and be positive as a team. We can defend ourselves on the ground. ”
PSG will not collapse on Tuesday like Steve Bruce’s team. A three-goal push in the 86th minute changed Solskjaer’s mood.
A try after 102 seconds on Luke Shaw’s unlucky goal against his own side, United recovered and exploited fatigue in the home defense.
Harry Maguire took a look at the house with his head for an equalizer in the first half. Fernandes added: “Harry is a great player and with one of the greatest teams in the world captain, plays for England.
“He’s been criticized, but he’s got a great mentality and he has to keep doing what he’s doing. ”
Bruce’s side conceded and played for a draw in a performance with no adventures other than Allan Saint-Maximin hitting the post and header from Callum Wilson. The inevitable was delayed when Fernandes missed his first penalty for United after scoring his first ten. “I’m human,” he could afford to joke.
He made amends in the 86th minute curling in the top corner after Mata sent Marcus Rashford clearing to the left.
Rashford then set up Aaron Wan-Bissaka who dropped in his first goal for United, then added his own momentum with a clean finish in added time, Fernandes with assist.
Fernandes added: “We didn’t know Aaron could shoot! It’s hard to believe he can score! We talked about it in the locker room. We thought he wanted to cross. We tell him to be in the box because he has such a quality.
“Rashford deserved to be named because he did what we train, we ride, we touch. He did the same. Rashy did well. He can do very well in this position but it is not his position.
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