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'It felt like a boxer being punched-drunk' | Solskjaer reflects on Liverpool loss

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

03:30 29 Oct 2021


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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it's been a tough week at the club since their 5-0 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League last weekend. 

The hammering at Old Trafford was a humiliation for Solskjaer and his side, with him describing it as the 'darkest day' since he took over as manager almost three years ago.

It took Naby Keita just five minutes to open the scoring for Liverpool on what was a really easy afternoon for them.

They cut through Manchester United at will, not even playing at their highest intensity, and realistically the 5-0 result could have been more.

United take on Tottenham in the league on Saturday and during his press conference ahead of this, Solskjaer didn't hold back in his assessment of the game.

"The performance wasn’t acceptable. I’ve used the analogy - it felt like a boxer being punched-drunk, being knocked out in the first minutes, first-round.

"We went too open and too frantic against a good team, you see Tyson Fury when he gets knocked down.

"It’s remarkable how composed he is when he gets knocked down, maybe we went too early.

"We have to be better, we have to be upfront and honest and the communication has to be direct.'

The result has brought about many questions in relation to Solskjaer and his capabilities as a manager in such a massive job.

There have been calls from some fans for him to be sacked with few in the media, where has usually enjoyed support, willing to publicly back him.

He says it's important the group stick together during a time where there is so much noise from the outside.

"The environment in and around the place, we have loads of respect for each other. When you’re criticised you get into the trenches with your team-mates.

"It’s always about getting through with togetherness, self-belief - it’s about sticking together, and that’s what we’ve done.

"It’s been a difficult week of course. We’ve had to deal with the result and performance against Liverpool which we know wasn’t good enough. We have to deal with it, that’s why we’re in this game.

"You have to look forward to the next game. We’ve had a good week on the training field, I have to say that."

Solskjaer spoke openly and honestly during his post-match interview with Sky Sports after the Liverpool game.

He accepted that football is a results business and that there will always be pressure to succeed as Manchester United manager.

He also quickly ruled out the possibility of walking away from the role tough and reiterated that he felt he was the right man for the job, saying the group had 'come too far to give up now.'

Speaking on Friday he was once again defiant with his confidence in what they are trying to do.

"I've been through some very bad moments as a player here and when I've been a manager I've dealt with setbacks.

"here have been two or three crises at least since I became manager here and one thing I can say is I'll always give it a good shot and fight back.

"It's been a difficult week, of course. We've had to deal with the result and performance against Liverpool which we know wasn't good enough and that's something that footballers have to deal with.

"That's why we're in this game. You have to look forward to the next game, and when you get to that next game sort it out and challenge the problems. We've had a good week on the training field."


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Manchester United Ole Gunnar Soilskjaer Premier League Tottenham

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