Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United welcomes Liverpool to Old Trafford. If history is any guide, the Norwegian has reason to be wary
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself on Sunday.
This weekend, United welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford. It is always a memorable fixture in the Premier League season. Solskjaer has every reason to be concerned.
United completed a thrilling 3-2 Champions League comeback against Atalanta on Wednesday night courtesy of a late Cristiano Ronaldo winner to ease the pressure on the Red Devils’ boss whose position has come under question.
Many saw the dramatic turnaround as masking the problems. A disjointed United was in chaos for the first 45 minutes and found themselves two goals behind the injury-hit Italians at halftime.
With Solskjaer’s side winless in their last three Premier League outings and Liverpool back to the imperious best which saw them storm to the 2019 league title, the Norwegian will be hoping defeat to the Reds doesn’t lead to the same fate as his predecessor.
It was against Sunday’s opponents that Jose Mourinho experienced his final taste of life in the Manchester United hotseat back in December of 2018.
After another disappointing start for United, the Portuguese manager was left with no choice but to lose 3-1 at Anfield.
During his time in charge, Mourinho spent close to £400million on 11 players and was given his marching orders after the Liverpool game, with a lack of progress in results and style of play cited as key factors for the change.
After Solskjaer took his transfer outlay to £441million this summer and United having suffered a stuttering start to this season, often looking disconnected and imbalanced, the Norwegian has now found himself in the firing line of late.
Mourinho was able to deliver one League Cup, and one Europa League in his two-and-a half years at Old Trafford. Solskjaer has yet to deliver any silverware.
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Now comes the unsettling challenge of a revived Liverpool, which has won 21 consecutive games in all competitions.
After scrambling past Atalanta in midweek, former United midfielder Paul Scholes was quick to issue a warning to Solskjaer’s side ahead of the weekend’s clash.
“You celebrate every win, but the first half really worried me,”Scholes told BT Sport. “People are going to say I’m miserable, and maybe I’m going to be slagged off by United fans, but I looked at that game thinking about the Liverpool game.
“That first half, United had two midfielders playing on their own and if they do that against Liverpool and City, they’ll be four down by half-time.
“People will get carried away, but will he play that way on Sunday? Go and do that on Sunday and see what happens.
“Jurgen Klopp will be rubbing his hands together.”
Klopp is certain to leave Old Trafford with more bragging rights, having seen his team score 30 goals in their nine away matches.
Solskjaer is the one who wrote the letter?