English Premiership

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Super sub to Man United hotseat

2018-12-19 16:09
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (AFP)

London - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer etched himself into Manchester United folklore in the manic closing seconds of their Champions League win against Bayern Munich in 1999.

Alex Ferguson's team had wrapped up the Premier League title and won the FA Cup but their dreams of a unique treble appeared to be over as they trailed 1-0 at the Camp Nou going into added time.

What happened next defied belief. First, fellow substitute Teddy Sheringham grabbed an equaliser and then Solskjaer poked home the winner following a flick-on from Sheringham, sparking scenes of pandemonium.

The striker joined United from Norwegian club Molde in 1996 for a bargain £1.5 million and played a key role in one of the most successful spells in the club's history, scoring 126 goals in 366 games.

On the pitch, the Norwegian, nicknamed the "Baby-faced Assassin", became an embodiment of United's never-say-die spirit, often scoring late goals when points or trophies looked to have been lost.

Now the new interim United manager has been handed the chance to add another chapter to his Old Trafford story, given the task of turning around the club's season after a disastrous spell under departed boss Jose Mourinho.

"Manchester United is in my heart and it's brilliant to be coming back in this role," said the 45-year-old, who has a daunting task ahead of him.

Many of Solskjaer's goals came from the substitutes' bench, including four in 12 astonishing minutes against Nottingham Forest in an 8-1 win in February 1999.

"Even though I'm a humble lad, I don't think there is any better finisher than me, still," he previously told MUTV. "The better players I had with me, the better I was.

"I was a poacher, sniffing goals out, and the better I got to know Giggsy (Ryan Giggs), Becks (David Beckham) and Eric Cantona, plus all the other great players I played with, they created chances for me."

Ferguson described Solskjaer, who won six Premier League titles at Old Trafford, as one of the best finishers he had worked with and praised his patience in sharing striking duties at United with a string of other top forwards.

"Ole was absolutely ridiculous from the bench," said former United teammate Andy Cole.

"He was a connoisseur of the game and he used to watch from the bench to see how he could hurt people. He picked out weaknesses to exploit."

Solskjaer lost his battle with persistent knee problems in 2007 before becoming the club's reserve-team manager.

He moved back to his native Norway to become manager of Molde for the 2011 season, winning the league for the first time in the club's history the same year and repeating the feat in 2012, also lifting the Norwegian Football Cup in 2013.

He was announced as manager of Cardiff City in January 2014 but failed to save the club from relegation from the Premier League, leaving in September of that year.

He returned to Molde in October 2015 and his team finished as runners-up in the league in 2017 and 2018.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Tuesday, 29 January 2019
Fulham v Brighton & Hove Albion, Craven Cottage 21:45
Arsenal v Cardiff City, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United, Molineux Stadium 21:45
Huddersfield Town v Everton, The John Smith's Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 22:00
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 22:00
Wednesday, 30 January 2019
Southampton v Crystal Palace, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea, Vitality Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v Leicester City, Anfield 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 02 February 2019
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 14:30
Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Goodison Park 17:00
Crystal Palace v Fulham, Selhurst Park 17:00
Chelsea v Huddersfield Town, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Burnley v Southampton, Turf Moor 17:00
Cardiff City v AFC Bournemouth, Cardiff City Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.