Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty and Luke Shaw added a second after half-time, as United ran out 2-0 winners to move back into second place and end City’s 21-game winning run.
Solskjaer paid particular tribute to centre-forward Anthony Martial, who had been an injury doubt up until pre-kick-off and yet who set the tone for United with a powerful and vibrant showing, winning the early penalty and giving City’s centre-backs plenty of problems throughout.
“When you come away with a 2-0 in, another clean sheet and a performance like this you’re delighted,” Solskjaer said on Sky Sports.
“We knew it was a challenge, the first goal dictates a lot of what happens out there. Every game is different but we’ve gone back to what we want to be: more direct and attacking and players getting at them.
“Anthony was superb, more the Anthony of old - and to think he was a doubt this morning, it was fantastic. Same with Luke [Shaw].”
Quizzed on Martial returning to prominence after a poor run of personal form, Solskjaer said the challenge for all players is to find the top level more often, while on a team perspective, both ends of the pitch have to work in harmony.
“[Inconsistency] is [part of] football; today [Martial] rediscovered himself, really strong on the ball and positive. We want to play at a high tempo but we had to defend well. You’ve got to defend so you can attack spaces that appear.”
City remain “too far ahead” to catch in the race for the title, said Solskjaer, whose side are 11 points off the leaers with 10 games to play - but he praised the togetherness of his players during the 90 minutes all the same.
“No team in world football has a chance against them without being a collective.”