The story behind our doubles over the Blues
Manchester United might have been inconsistent during the opening few months of the current Premier League season, but superb league doubles over both Chelsea and Manchester City have offered clear signs of progress.
The Reds started the 2019/20 campaign with a memorable opening-day victory over Frank Lampard's Chelsea at Old Trafford, and then beat them again at Stamford Bridge following the winter break.
Incredibly, it was United's first league double over the six-times champions of England during the Premier League era – our last clean sweep against the west Londoners coming in 1987/88.
Six more points were also wracked up against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, earning us home-and-away league wins against our neighbours for the first time since 2009/10.
Those four wins and 12 points have acted as the motor behind United's Premier League season, and offered strong indication that Solskjaer's side are more than capable of competing against the best.
Read on to find out how we achieved a quartet of memorable successes...
UNITED 4 CHELSEA 0 (11 August 2019)
What a start to the season! In front of a packed house on a late summer's afternoon at Old Trafford, Ole's team produced a barnstorming performance against a Chelsea XI that could count themselves unlucky not to have scored. Lampard's men had opportunities to take the lead, but it was Marcus Rashford's spot-kick that broke the deadlock and opened the young forward's account for the new season.
After the interval, the Reds proved to be ruthless on the counter-attack. Anthony Martial made it two and then the floodgates opened. Rashford latched onto Paul Pogba's wonderfully weighted through ball to make it three, and there was just enough time for new signing Daniel James to make his debut one to remember, by coming off the bench to score our fourth.
CHELSEA 0 UNITED 2 (17 February 2020)
When the two sides met at Stamford Bridge six months later, United had new arrivals Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo in the squad, and the Portuguese playmaker proved vital in helping us claim another three points, on a night when VAR played its part in proceedings.
On the stroke of half-time, Martial was alive to glance home Aaron Wan-Bissaka's cross and then, in the second period, Harry Maguire rose to head home Fernandes's corner for his first United league goal.
Drama followed, as the Blues saw two goals ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee. Kurt Zouma looked to have pulled one back, only for it to be chalked off due to a push on Brandon Williams by Cesar Azpilicueta in the build-up, and then Olivier Giroud's header was deemed to be just offside.
MAN CITY 1 UNITED 2 (7 December 2019)
Three days from United's 2-1 victory over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham at Old Trafford, the Reds would claim another scalp, thanks to a superb opening 30 minutes against Manchester City. Solskjaer's outfit ran riot on the counter-attack against the reigning champions, and raced into a two-goal lead through Rashford’s penalty and Martial’s left-footed effort from the edge of the box.
It could have been four or five, in truth, with City’s defence in constant retreat and unable to deal with the blistering pace of our attacking quartet of Martial, James, Jesse Lingard and Rashford, who also struck the crossbar between our first and second strikes.
Guardiola's side regathered after the break, but United settled into their defensive shape and did what they had to do to repel the hosts, with Wan-Bissaka, in particular, showcasing his talents at right-back. Nicolas Otamendi's late header cranked up the pressure, but we held firm to secure the first of three derby wins across all competitions in 2019/20.
UNITED 2 MAN CITY 0 (8 March 2020)
Our home fixture against Man City was another dramatic contest and, to date, it remains Old Trafford's final match prior to the indefinite suspension of football in England.
The visitors were in the ascendancy during the early stages, but United sprung into action after the half-hour mark. A quick Fernandes free-kick caught the City defence napping, but Martial was alert to fire the Portuguese midfielder's delicate chip past Ederson to give us a vital lead.
Sergio Aguero had a goal ruled out for offside in the second half, but City struggled to break down our stubborn defence. Then, in the dying embers of stoppage time, Scott McTominay raced onto Ederson's loose throw-out and calmly swept home from 40 yards to put the result beyond doubt. In the pouring Manchester rain, Old Trafford rose to its feet to celebrate a first league double over our local rivals for 10 years.