March 9, 2020 / 4:22 AM / a month ago

Former Man Utd players hail 'big moment' for team after derby delight

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Manchester City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - March 8, 2020 Manchester United fitness coach Kieran McKenna celebrates as Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola look on REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Manchester United have taken a “huge step” in their development under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Sunday’s Premier League win over local rivals Manchester City but they must back it up with another big display, former captain Roy Keane has said.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay helped United seal a 2-0 victory over the champions to remain in fifth place and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games.

“There’s a long way back but it was a huge step. I’ve given City huge praise over the last few years ... but I felt like it meant more to United than City,” Keane told Sky Sports.

“They’ve been under a lot of pressure and criticism. I’ve been critical, but United have done well. It’s a big boost for Ole. The atmosphere was fantastic. But when you get a big win you have to follow it up.”

Keane’s ex-United team mate and fellow analyst Gary Neville hailed their first home and away league double over City in a decade.

“It still doesn’t give them what they want in terms of a Champions League place or a top-four finish, but something like that was a big moment,” Neville said, praising midfielders McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes.

“I was thinking about the midfield and universally United fans would say it’s been pathetic for 18 months... all of a sudden United have a midfield when it had been non-existent.

“Are they the best group of United players that have been here in the last eight years? No, not for a talent. But they’re a far easier group to like because they want to be here.”

United visit LASK in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday before a league trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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