Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied that the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo has had a negative impact on his team.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 36, rejoined Manchester United from Juventus in the summer and has nine goals in 14 games this season.
“He’s one of the best players that has ever walked on this planet. His impact so far has been absolutely immense. He scores goals, he works for his team. He’s a top professional,” said Solskjaer.
He added: “How people can say that’s a negative, I can’t see that one. We’re really pleased he has started as well as he has.”
Cristiano Ronaldo scored United’s first goal in a 3-0 Premier League win over Tottenham last Sunday, as the Red Devils bounced back from a 5-0 thrashing at home by Liverpool.
In Tuesday’s dramatic 2-2 Champions League group draw at Italian side Atalanta, the Portugal captain also scored two equalizers, the second in injury time in the end.
United host Manchester City on Saturday (1230 GMT) in an attempt to put the “dark moment” of the Liverpool loss behind them.
“We’ve moved on from that Liverpool one. Of course, it’s going to be in the history books, but we’ve had a good week. We’ve had good results away from home, difficult games, and the mindset is positive.
“We’ve got to go into this [Manchester City] game believing we can do good things. It’s a local derby and everyone knows what’s at stake,” added Solskjaer.
Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham Spurs was their first in five league games, and they defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in March.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won four of his eight meetings with Man City manager Pep Guardiola in all competitions, the best record of any manager who has faced the Spaniard at least five times.
“I’m not one to talk about what I’ve done. I’ve got great respect and admiration for what Pep has done. It’s a special one and we’ve had a few good results against them. Let’s hope that continues, but we don’t take it for granted. We have to earn it.
“We’ve had some good games, tight games, and we need another performance,” said the Norwegian.
Manchester City has not beaten United in the league in the last four meetings, with their last victory coming in April 2019 against Solskjaer’s side.
“Congratulations to United for winning these duels against us, or some of them. They have a lot of physicalities, a lot of talent, and people upfront with the ability to win games by themselves.
“It’s Manchester United – what should I say? Since the last century, they have always been a good team, with quality. But it is a new season, new games,” said Guardiola.
Manchester City was linked with a summer move for Ronaldo before he joined Manchester United, and Guardiola added: “Normally, I don’t talk about players for other clubs.”
“I am pretty sure Cristiano Ronaldo is happy at Manchester United and United are happy to have him. That’s all.”