The ”Babyfaced assassin” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been rewarded by Manchester United for engineering a remarkable turnaround in the club’s fortunes since he took over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.
As well as famously guiding the Red Devils to the Champions League quarterfinals after an astonishing comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, Solskjaer has hauled United back into contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Ole’s at the wheel! We can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as #MUFC manager.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 28, 2019
Lets take a look at five key wins that landed Solskjaer his dream job:
CARDIFF 1-5 MAN UNITED
Cardiff 1-5 Man United— Football Stuff (@FootbalIStuff) December 26, 2018
Man United 3-1 Huddersfield
United fans right now. pic.twitter.com/4Uso5FwTpk
Cardiff 1-5 Manchester United. What a start to Ole’s career at Man United. We played some beautiful football yesterday and had 75% possession.— Tяυsτ №¹-Yahya™ (@RealistYahz) December 23, 2018
Enjoy the highlights❤️ pic.twitter.com/qP7NhRV7nb
Banished towards the end of Mourinho’s reign, Paul Pogba was instrumental with a part in four of the visitors’ five goals, while Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard all seemed to immediately thrive when given more licence to attack.
TOTTENHAM 0-1 MAN UNITED
FT: Tottenham 0-1 Man United— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) January 13, 2019
Thanks to Marcus Rashford and an amazing performance from David de Gea, Man United takes three points and Solskjaer becomes the first ever manager at the club to win his first 6 opening matches. https://t.co/pXjjBitw8Q pic.twitter.com/YALP3c3EAf
When Mourinho was sacked, Mauricio Pochettino was immediately installed as the
The Argentine has worked wonders to make Tottenham top-four regulars on a far more restricted budget than his competitors.
But Solskjaer won his first head-to-head battle with the Argentine at Wembley thanks to a combination of smart tactics and the brilliance of David de Gea.
The gameplan to spring Rashford’s pace on the counter-attack worked to perfection for the only goal just before halftime.
Thereafter De Gea made 11 saves to keep Tottenham at bay and haul United back into the race for a top-four finish.
CHELSEA 0-2 MAN UNITED
#FACup – HALFTIME:— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) February 18, 2019
Chelsea 0-2 Man United
Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba have put Man United ahead going into the break in an impressive first half performance by the Red devils.
Second-half continues LIVE on SS3 and @DStv Now >>https://t.co/3wUsZ1pF9y pic.twitter.com/qtx24beqYX
A quest for FA Cup glory may have ended in the quarterfinal defeat to Wolves, but impressive wins at Arsenal and Chelsea in the earlier rounds showed Solskjaer’s victory at Tottenham was not a flash in the pan.
Ander Herrera and Pogba scored two wonderfully crafted goals and despite Chelsea’s dominance of possession, United defended well and had far more punch in attack.
MAN UNITED 3-2 SOUTHAMPTON
FT: Man United 3-2 Southampton— Roro O'Monstro.™ (@Roromeo_MUFC10) March 2, 2019
Talk about burning desire to win, talk about passion, high level of commitment, superb mentality and hard work. I've seen it all since Ole's at the wheel with Phelan, Carrick, McKenna & Alvarez with him. Safe to say, GIVE OLE THE PERMANENT JOB!📝 pic.twitter.com/VNucjwzspe
“It is like the old days,” said Solskjaer, a legendary scorer of late goals in his playing days, after Romelu Lukaku’s late winner swung a five-goal thriller United’s way.
A home win over Southampton is not normally a cause from a great celebration, but the manner of victory in coming from behind with an injury-ravaged squad proved vital for building United’s momentum for what was a momentous midweek to come.
PSG 1-3 MAN UNITED
The French champions inflicted the sole defeat of Solskjaer’s first 17 games in charge with what seemed like a statement 2-0 win at Old Trafford in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
No side had ever overturned a 2-0 first leg home defeat in European Cup history and United
Yesterday: PSG 1-3 Man United— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 7, 2019
Today: Rennes 3-1 Arsenal pic.twitter.com/mThX61LYWP
Solskjaer’s men had their share of luck, benefiting from glaring errors by Thilo Kehrer and Gianluigi Buffon and a highly controversial stoppage-time penalty awarded with the help of VAR for a handball by Presnel Kimpembe.
But this was the night when any doubts over who would get the job on a permanent basis disappeared.
And the belief he instilled in a young team, demonstrated by Rashford’s confident spot-kick, was richly rewarded as the club celebrated one of their best-ever European nights.
Solskjaer was canny to remain cautious and ensure United stayed in the tie long enough to prey on PSG’s nerves.