Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reviews Manchester City defeat
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may already be living on borrowed time in light of the board’s reported stance after Liverpool triumphed 5-0 at Old Trafford two weeks ago. Back then, the Norwegian was allegedly given three games to save his job, and the third instalment of that trilogy finished with a humbling against Manchester City on Saturday.
There were familiar sights and sounds around Old Trafford as boos rang out and United heads dropped at the final whistle.
Local rivals City had put together a convincing 2-0 victory in which the Red Devils struggled to gain a foothold, prompting renewed concern about their ability to compete with the Premier League’s best sides.
Already, Solskjaer’s team sit nine points off Chelsea who top the table, and with the international break now looming, the 48-year-old has surely been left vulnerable.
A similar situation unfolded when Liverpool ran riot in October, and according to The Telegraph, the board was prepared to give him three games to prove he was worthy of the United hotseat.
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Things got off to a good start when they beat Tottenham 3-0 in north London last weekend.
However, so dreadful was the Spurs performance that manager Nuno Espirito Santo was given his marching orders just two days after the match.
Then, the Red Devils had to call on Cristiano Ronaldo heroics against Atalanta in midweek, with his double rescuing a meagre Champions League point.
They have made a habit of relying on the Portuguese in Europe this campaign, something which is surely not sustainable going forward.
Finally, the stakes were high for Saturday’s Manchester Derby, but the result did not fall Solskjaer’s way.
Perhaps more importantly, the performance showed the gulf in class between the sides as City clicked into cruise control for the majority of the second half.
With that, Solskjaer’s probation period came to an end having notched one win, one draw and one defeat.
Whether that can be considered enough to save his job is a matter for the club’s hierarchy to decide, but the international break is notorious for such decisions as it would give a prospective new manager time to bed in.
Despite speculation on his future, Solskjaer remained typically defiant after a damaging defeat at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s well-drilled team.
“David [De Gea] kept us in the game and they scored a goal they always score,” he said.
“They played well and they dont give you opportunities so some praise has to go to them but we were not at our level.
“At the moment we are [far off the top teams], we need to get back to where we were at the end of last season.
“I’m sure when we come back the players will be fresh and the demands will be high but we need to get back to what we were for a while and we have the players to do that.”
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