Statistical milestones Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has covered as Man United interim boss

Press Association Sport 17:46 28/03/2019
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Ole has broken quite a few records as United interim boss

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been named as Manchester United‘s permanent manager after a record-breaking spell in caretaker charge.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the statistical marks set or equalled by Solskjaer and his United team.

Won first six Premier League games

Solskjaer’s side saw off Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Tottenham and Brighton to match the record set by Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea and shared by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. A draw with Burnley prevented him breaking the record.

Won first eight games as Manchester United manager

That storming start also took in FA Cup wins over Reading and Arsenal, making it eight straight wins in all competitions to start Solskjaer’s reign, breaking Sir Matt Busby’s record of five.

Nine consecutive away wins for United

The Cardiff, Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal wins came away from Old Trafford and Solskjaer remained 100 per cent on his travels up to and including the incredible Champions League victory at the Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain.

He has since suffered consecutive away defeats, to Arsenal in the league and Wolves in the FA Cup.

Premier League manager of the month

Solskjaer won the award in January, making him the first Norwegian winner of either the player or manager of the month prizes.

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Wins over PSG and Arsenal helped Ole Gunnar Soslkjaer land Man United job

Press Association Sport 16:53 28/03/2019
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United have named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club’s manager on a three-year deal following a successful spell as caretaker boss.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at six matches that helped the Norwegian get the job on a full-time basis.

Cardiff (a)

Solskjaer enjoyed a dream start to life at the helm as United scored five goals in a Premier League match for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, winning 5-1 in the Welsh capital.

Marcus Rashford scored after just three minutes, while Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard (two) were also on target.

Tottenham (a)

MarcusRashfordSpursUnited (1)

Solskjaer came through his toughest test so far with a 1-0 win at Wembley. However, he was indebted to David De Gea for a superb goalkeeping display as he became the first manager in the club’s history to win their first six games in charge.

Arsenal (a)

AlexisSanchezUnitedArsenal (1)

Alexis Sanchez scored against his former club.

Alexis Sanchez scored on his return to the Emirates Stadium as Solskjaer’s unprecedented winning run as United boss continued with a 3-1 triumph in the FA Cup fourth round.

Chelsea (a)

Solskjaer’s United bounced back from their first-leg defeat against PSG in the Champions League with an impressive display to dump holders Chelsea out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 fifth-round win at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool (h)

Solskjaer showed he can handle adversity by adapting to first-half injuries to Herrera, Juan Mata and his replacement Lingard, all of whom had to be substituted before the break, to keep the Premier League leaders at arm’s length for a creditable goalless draw.

Paris Saint-Germain (a)

ManUnitedPSGSolskjaer (1)

A late penalty from Marcus Rashford completed a dramatic comeback

Romelu Lukaku scored a brace for the third game in a row as United overcame a 2-0 first-leg deficit to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals after a 3-1 win at Parc Des Princes.

Lukaku scored either side of a Juan Bernat strike but it was in stoppage time that the real drama happened. Diogo Dalot’s shot hit Presnel Kimpembe on the arm and, after a VAR review, referee Damir Skomina pointed to the spot and Rashford kept his cool to convert.

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Key issues Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to address as Man United boss

Press Association Sport 16:43 28/03/2019
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been confirmed as Manchester United‘s permanent new manager on a three-year contract.

The former United striker won 14 of his 19 games as temporary boss to convince the Old Trafford hierarchy he was the right man to succeed Jose Mourinho.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the issues Solskjaer will need to address over the coming months.

Stick or twist with Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has endured a difficult time at United.

What to do with Alexis Sanchez? The Chile forward has flopped at Old Trafford since becoming the club’s highest-paid player in January 2018. The performance levels of every other United player have soared under Solskjaer, who has admitted only Sanchez himself holds the answers.

Two goals in 23 appearances this season is a pitiful return for a reported annual salary of £14million. If Solskjaer can work his magic on the player, he would have one of the world’s best at his disposal, but if not he must move him on.

De Gea future a Real priority

Could David de Gea be on his way to Madrid?

Could David de Gea be on his way to Madrid?

Spain goalkeeper De Gea’s contract with United expires in the summer of 2020 and his representatives are currently locked in talks with the club over a possible new deal.

It has been reported that the goalkeeper wants to increase his £200,000-a-week wages to £500,000 to stay in the Premier League and Real Madrid would surely meet his demands.

Solskjaer must do all he can to keep De Gea by persuading him and the United hierarchy that the future of one of the world’s best stoppers lies at Old Trafford.

Easy does it with Pogba

Paul Pogba has been a top players under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Paul Pogba has been a top player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Pogba is another prized asset that Solskjaer must keep happy. The enigmatic France international is a proven game-changer and has thrived under the Norwegian and his assistant Mike Phelan.

Give Pogba his lead in a settled environment and in return he will produce world-class performances, but weigh him down with off-the-ball responsibilities and he will lose his glow. Solskjaer must continue to keep him at the heart of the United family, show him the love and play him in a role he relishes.

Time for a clear-out

Antonio Valencia

Solskjaer’s permanent appointment could signal the departure of several fringe players, who have failed to establish themselves as first-team regulars under him.

The United boss will undoubtedly want to make room for new arrivals in the summer and the likes of Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo may all be nearing the end of their Old Trafford careers.

Eric Bailly is another whose future could be in doubt, especially since Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both recently signed new contracts.

Recruit players made of ‘right stuff’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer’s quest to reinstate the club as genuine Premier League title challengers would be given a massive boost with a couple of blue riband summer signings.

United fans have for years debated that only a player with certain characteristics can become a crowd favourite at Old Trafford, while the feelgood factor generated by such a signing can never be underestimated.

Sanchez’s ill-fated spell at the club has cranked up the pressure – Solskjaer and his backroom team have to get their recruitment right.

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