It’s fair to say Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already immortalised in Manchester United’s history thanks to his playing career, but he could set an impressive managerial club record on Sunday afternoon.
The Norwegian’s managerial credentials were questioned upon appointment, but Solskjaer has duly answered those sceptics, bringing stability to United – something they desperately needed.
United are making progress under his stewardship, although while the Reds find themselves second in the Premier League table, recent results have failed to inspire.
After three consecutive draws across all competitions, in which United delivered underwhelming attacking displays, their form has been brought into question.
“I’m not buying into the narrative we’ve had such a dip in form,” Solskjaer said, speaking at Friday’s press conference.
“At the moment they’re the only team [Manchester City] ahead of us.
“They are going through a fantastic spell at the moment, great form.
“Twenty-one wins, we’ve had 21 away games in the league unbeaten. So one record is going to be broken.”
Solskjaer is correct. United and Manchester City both have their respective records on the line in this latest renewal of the Manchester derby, adding to the intrigue of the clash.
However, Solskjaer could clinch his own personal milestone on Sunday, able to achieve something none of his predecessors, including Sir Alex Ferguson, have accomplished.
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Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were frustrated for the third goalless game in succession, dropping more points to allow Man City to streak away at the Premier League’s summit, on a poor day for the forwards.
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If United emerge with the three points on Sunday, Solskjaer would become the first manager in United’s history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions against City.
The United boss’ first visit to the Etihad was a stunning 2-1 win in the league in December 2019 which, against all odds, dealt a crushing blow to City’s title hopes.
Just one month later, United would play City again at the Etihad, winning 1-0 thanks to Nemanja Matic’s goal in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg.
On that occasion, United’s win was in vain, with City progressing to Wembley on aggregate, although Solskjaer’s away record suggests he has Pep Guardiola’s number in such fixtures.
That can only bode well as far as this weekend is concerned.