Manchester United will try to dent Liverpool’s bid for a maiden Premier League title when they visit Old Trafford on Renault Super Sunday.
United’s own title challenge failed to get off the ground this term but, with Liverpool and Manchester City still to visit Old Trafford, they could have a huge say in where the trophy ends up in May.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has exceeded expectations during his interim period in charge of United, and a victory over title-chasing Liverpool would further strengthen his claim for the role on a permanent basis.
Man Utd vs Liverpool
February 24, 2019, 1:00pm
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Ahead of Sunday’s showdown, live on Sky Sports Premier League, we examine whether Solskjaer’s record against Liverpool as a player and manager offers United hope of halting their rivals’ challenge.
Solskjaer vs Liverpool: As a player Solskjaer’s playing record vs Liverpool PL FA Cup League Cup Total Apps 9 1 1 11 Win 4 1 0 5 Draw 1 0 0 1 Loss 4 0 1 5 Goals 2 1 0 3 Assists 0 0 0 0
You will need no reminding of the iconic moment of Solskjaer’s United career; the stoppage-time winner against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final that secured an unprecedented treble.
Four months prior, and at the third attempt, Solskjaer’s first goal against Liverpool is viewed by many as the catalyst of United’s thrilling finale to the 1998/99 season.
After Dwight Yorke’s late equaliser, Solskjaer’s stoppage-time winner gave a taste of what was to come, sending United into the FA Cup fifth round at the expense of Liverpool, who had led for 86 minutes after Michael Owen’s early opener.
Solskjaer would score in back-to-back appearances against Liverpool, cancelling out Patrik Berger’s free-kick to salvage a point for United at Old Trafford in March 2000.
Having won three and drawn one of his first four meetings with Liverpool, Solskjaer tasted defeat for the first time in December 2000. Danny Murphy scored the winning goal at Old Trafford that day, and the Liverpool midfielder would personally be responsible for three of the five defeats Solskjaer endured against the Merseysiders.
Solskjaer was on the field in November 2001 when two Michael Owen strikes and a thunderbolt from John Arne Riise sealed a famous Anfield win for Liverpool, before Murphy struck again at Old Trafford the following January.
Diego Forlan’s memorable brace halted a three-game losing streak for United against Liverpool in December 2002, but Liverpool sought the perfect revenge by winning the 2003 League Cup final in Cardiff in March 2003.
Solskjaer’s third and final goal against Liverpool came the following month as he put the icing on the cake of a resounding 4-0 victory at Old Trafford, with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ryan Giggs also on the scoresheet.
But Liverpool had the final word in their personal duel with Solskjaer as Murphy scored a third winner at Old Trafford in April 2004 to secure a 1-0 victory for the Merseysiders in their last match against a United side featuring the Norwegian, as injuries began to blight the tail end of his career.
Solskjaer vs Liverpool: As a manager
Solskjaer has only faced Liverpool once as a manager, and he’ll be keen to avoid a repeat of that result in Sunday’s meeting at Old Trafford.
Cast your minds back to March 2014. Liverpool’s title challenge has gathered pace with a crushing 3-0 victory away at defending champions Manchester United.
Six days later Brendan Rodgers’ side travelled to south Wales to take on a Cardiff City side Solskjaer had been tasked with trying to keep in the Premier League.
The Bluebirds went ahead on two occasions in the first half through Jordon Mutch and Frazier Campbell, but Liverpool, courtesy of a Luis Suarez hat-trick, fought back to secure a 6-3 win.
If was the fourth victory in what ended up being a nine-game winning streak for Liverpool, a streak which moved them to within touching distance of a maiden Premier League title.
Five years on and Solskjaer finds himself in a similar situation, albeit in different surroundings. Having been unable to derail Liverpool’s title challenge back then, all eyes will be on Solskjaer to see if he can this time around.