Solskjaer struck wrong note with comments about Liverpool game

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been speaking to the press ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Burnley tomorrow night.

The match will see United looking to get back to winning ways after the weekend defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.

Solskjaer made reference to that 2-0 reverse on Sunday but ended up striking completely the wrong note.

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

What did he say?

As quoted by the Guardian, Solskjaer said: “For me we lost to Liverpool, a team that you all say are fantastic, and we’ve been in the game until the last kick.

“And, for me, that’s strides forward. We’re disappointed losing the game, we don’t want to be behind them but there were signs that we are on the right track.”

It’s not the first time Solskjaer has bungled when talking about United’s rivals.

Earlier this month, Solskjaer was quoted by the Mirror saying of Manchester City: “You know, when you play Man City in the Carabao Cup and they put their strongest team out, you know you’ve gone places.

“It means they respect us, and teams start to respect Man United coming here. I took it as a compliment that they came out with their best players.”

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Inferiority complex

The league table doesn’t lie – it’s clear United are way off the level Liverpool are at right now – but Solskjaer’s comments once again strike the wrong tone.

The first thing to note is that while the score was 1-0 before stoppage time, Liverpool could easily have been further ahead; they had two goals disallowed, hit the post twice and missed other simple chances.

Hanging on in there at Anfield shouldn’t be cause for praise from Solskjaer – but it wasn’t even a particularly accurate analysis of the match.

After showing pleasure that City ‘respected’ United enough to play a strong team and go 3-0 up by half time in the EFL Cup, this is now becoming a common problem for Solskjaer.

Again, that was a wayward perception; Claudio Bravo played in goal against United and City played a strong team against Burton in last year’s EFL Cup semi-finals.

It shows a small-time mentality from Solskjaer, completely at the other end of the scale – but just as frustrating – as his repeated mentions of the club’s history during his interim reign.

United may be struggling but no Old Trafford manager should be bragging about commanding ‘respect’ from City or being pleased with only being 1-0 to Liverpool.

David Moyes was rightly slammed for some of his comments as United manager, and what Solskjaer has said is as bad. He’s got it wrong in the media – again.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.