Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praises on his goal-scoring duo of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial after their efforts helped Manchester United in earning crucial three points against Crystal Palace in Premier League on Thursday at the empty Selhurst Stadium.

Rashford broke the deadlock in the stoppage time as he put on display his Ronaldo-like skills before he cleverly deceived two defenders and smashed home his 22nd goal of the season.

Martial killed off Palace’s hopes to equalise with a clinical finish in the 77th minute after he was fed by Rashford who had already done the hard work.

“The goals with Marcus and Anthony were just a joy to watch. The goals were great and we know they can do that at any moment. It’s exciting to watch, it’s exciting to coach, it’s exciting to see them want to be better, want to improve – so it’s great,” Solskjaer was quoted as saying on the official website of Manchester United.

However, moments before Rashford scored the opener, Palace players had made a ferocious appeal for penalty after it appeared that Victor Lindelof had fouled Wilfried Zaha. The VAR came into action and rejected Palace’s claims. The review technology further added up to the hosts’ disappointment when a goal by Jordan Ayew was called offside in the second half.

The United boss, though, believed that the VAR decisions were correct. He said, “For once we can say they worked and of course, if you’re offside an inch, you’re offside. We’re lucky there. For me, Victor takes the ball [for the penalty call, on Wilfried Zaha] so we’re fine.”

The victory, meanwhile, kept United well and alive in the battle for top four after a frustrating 2-2 draw against Southampton at Old Trafford in last league match.

With Leicester also winning on Thursday, United remain at the fifth place despite having the same 62 points as the fourth-placed Foxes. Chelsea at third have one-point advantage over both of them.

After Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final tie against Chelsea, United will host and West Ham United on Wednesday before the all-important last league match against Leicester on July 26.

“Yeah we need to smile, we need to go into this as in ‘we’ve earned this right’. No one thought this in January, that we were in with a shout for the top four and we’ve done fantastic since the restart and so we’ve got to smile, got to enjoy these games. These are the games that matter and that’s what it is at Man United, you need to step up and show your personality,” Solskjaer explained.