Paul Scholes believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s drive to improve Manchester United’s fitness paid dividends during Sunday’s Premier League opener against Chelsea.
United ran out 4-0 winners after overcoming a nervy first-half to overpower Chelsea in the second period.
It was United’s first competitive fixture following a pre-season in which Solskjaer made it a priority to improve the physical state of his players after being unimpressed with the condition he inherited them in from Jose Mourinho last year.
Former United midfielder Scholes believes the difference was apparent at Old Trafford.
“You saw that in the second half especially. I think fitness was a big thing as well with United,” Scholes told Premier League Productions.
“I think last year when Ole came in he wasn’t happy with the fitness of the lads.
“They looked in that second half they were still going strong with 20 minutes to go and they overpowered them. I think they overran Chelsea really, in that second half with [Paul] Pogba and [Scott] McTominay.
“I thought McTominay was good, without being outstanding, I just think he did his job, nice and quiet and allowed the other players to play. And then the pace of [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial, that’s what he wants.
“He wants the energy, I thought [Jesse] Lingard was good as well. There was a real buzz about them second half and that fitness and speed was back. We’ll still say Chelsea, they weren’t bad.
“They had chances in that game as well to score goals. If they were a little bit more clinical and had a little bit more luck, we might have been looking at a different story.”