Manchester United confirmed on Thursday that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is to continue as manager in a permanent capacity, a decision most supporters have been demanding for several weeks.
Solskjaer was described as a “club legend” by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in December when initially hired as caretaker manager, with the Norwegian held in great esteem by United fans.
Between 1996 and 2007, Solskjaer scored 126 goals in 366 appearances with United during a trophy-laden spell under Alex Ferguson.
He is also responsible for one of the most iconic United goals ever
as he scored the winner in the 1998-99 Champions League final to seal the treble.
Upon the announcement that Solskjaer will take the wheel on a full-time basis, we take a look at some of Solskjaer’s most memorable moments at United, both as a player and his spell as interim manager.
Super-sub legend born on his debut
Ferguson bought Solskjaer for £1.5million from Molde in July 1996 and he made an immediate impression. His new club were trailing 2-1 at Old Trafford to Blackburn Rovers on August 25 when Solskjaer was called for from the bench. Six minutes into his debut, he had opened his account for United, finishing after Tim Flowers had saved his initial attempt to salvage a draw.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 29, 2017
A late winner against Liverpool
United’s treble dream would have ended on January 24 1999 had Solskjaer not inspired a dramatic turnaround against Liverpool in the FA Cup. Michael Owen’s goal looked like being enough to send United out of the competition but Ferguson threw on Solskjaer nine minutes from time and, after Dwight Yorke levelled in the 88th minute, the Norwegian steered home a winner in a 2-1 victory.
Four goals in 12 minutes
That cameo from the bench was impressive, but nothing like the impact he had in United’s 8-1 win over Nottingham Forest in February 1999. Ferguson’s men were already 4-1 up when he called for Solskjaer with 19 minutes remaining. He found the net four times to add an exclamation mark to an emphatic victory, which was United’s record away win.
“And Solskjaer has won it!”
Three months after that night in Nottingham, Solskjaer made an indelible mark on the club’s history in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Ferguson’s treble-seeking side were behind in stoppage time when Teddy Sheringham turned home an equaliser. Solskjaer then stuck out his right foot to score a dramatic winner and cap a remarkable campaign, the accompanied words “and Solskjaer has won it” from commentator Clive Tyldesley becoming iconic in the United Kingdom.
Another four-goal haul
Solskjaer did not always come off the bench and on December 4 1999 he made the most of one his starting opportunities against Everton at Old Trafford. United had to come from behind but once Denis Irwin’s penalty cancelled out Francis Jeffers’ opener, Solskjaer took over as he helped himself to another four-goal haul.
We’ll always have Paris
Even for United, their Champions League last-16 turnaround against Paris Saint-Germain this season was absurd. Having lost 2-0 at home to PSG in the first leg, seeing Paul Pogba sent off in the process, the Red Devils looked doomed. A crippling injury crisis ahead of the return game only made things worse for Solskjaer. Yet a gutsy display at the Parc des Princes had the visitors 2-1 up towards the end, and a last-gasp – albeit controversial – Marcus Rashford penalty stunned Thomas Tuchel’s men, as United became the first team to ever progress in the Champions League after losing the first leg of a knockout tie at home by two or more goals.
Ole: “Mountains are there to be climbed.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) 6 March 2019
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