Manchester United maintained their relentless pursuit of a place in the Champions League with a hard-fought win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Solskjaer’s side were under pressure after Leicester City’s earlier victory over Sheffield United and responded with a victory that keeps them in fifth place, level on points with the Foxes but with an inferior goal difference.
It extended United’s unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions, and Solskjaer believes United, who are still in the FA Cup and Europa League, have set themselves up for a thrilling end to the season.
United were made to work for their victory, Marcus Rashford breaking the deadlock with a stylish finish in first-half stoppage time before playing his part in a sweet move involving Bruno Fernandes that was rounded off by Anthony Martial in the 78th minute.
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Palace felt a real sense of injustice, furious that they were denied a penalty just before United took the lead when Wilfried Zaha tangled with Victor Lindelof and then seeing a potential 55th-minute equaliser from Jordan Ayew ruled out by VAR for a very marginal offside.
It meant Roy Hodgson’s side slumped to their sixth consecutive league loss and their night was made worse when defender Patrick van Aanholt suffered a dislocated shoulder after trying to prevent Martial scoring United’s second.
Meanwhile, a first-half strike by Ayoze Perez and Demarai Gray’s counter-attacking goal ensured the Foxes stay fourth, a point behind third-placed Chelsea with two games remaining.
Their win also means they qualified for next season’s Europa League at least.
The hosts, who dominated most of the game, went ahead when impressive 19-year-old debutant Luke Thomas crossed low to set up Perez after 29 minutes.
They should have extended their lead after the break when Harvey Barnes was twice denied by United goalkeeper Dean Henderson after clever through balls by Jamie Vardy.
The Foxes’ top scorer also hit the post, and it looked as though Sheffield United might be fortunate enough to equalise when Jack O’Connell’s shot was tipped wide by Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester’s victory was only their second in six games since the restart but it was a timely boost for Rodgers’ team, who are ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United on goal difference.