The Premier League race comes to an end

The race for the English league has come to an end as Man city failed to win at Stamford Bridge tonight.

The reigning champions came into the game with hopes of holding out till Liverpool were announced champions however their hopes were dashed by a dazzling Chelsea team.

Man city played without Sergio Aguero who is out injured and without youngster Phil Foden who has been on hot form since after the break.

Chelsea started the game placing pressure on the City team who also seemed up to the task and kept a tight defensive line.

Chelsea however had a break on a counterattack from a City free kick. Pulisic got the ball from a mistake by Mendy and slotted it past Ederson

Pulisic scoring the fist goal for Chelsea

The City team upped their effort and they were rewarded with a free kick which was placed past the keeper by De Bruyne.

City kept pushing and was nearly rewarded by a Raheem Sterling chance but was denied by the bar.

Tammy Abraham was introduced in the second half replacing Giroud. He got an opportunity which was denied by the keeper.

The opportunity was later reviewed by Var and Fernandinho was found to have used his hand and a Penalty was granted to Chelsea. Willian took the penalty and gave Chelsea the lead.

Pedro has an opportunity to score a third goal for Chelsea but was denied by the keeper.

Tonights defeat mean Liverpool has won their first Premier League title after a 30 year wait.

Tottenham willing to sell Kane to avoid financial crisis

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will sanction the departure of Harry Kane to Manchester United for a world-record fee of £200million because of financial worries and exasperation with England’s captain for going off-message during the coronavirus crisis.

Levy has made it clear that Spurs would agree to let Kane leave this summer.

Tottenham fear the financial repercussions of the current lockdown more than any other Premier league club because they are still paying for their new £1billion stadium.

It’s significant that Spurs were among the first top-flight clubs to furlough non-playing staff despite the negative publicity it attracted.

They reportedly owe £637m on the stadium loan and £83m on transfer fees. And Levy is understood to have been furious at Kane’s recent comments that the Premier League season should be voided if it wasn’t completed by the end of June.

That would have huge repercussions should television broadcast rights holders demand a refund from the Premier League although It is understood that Sky will not demand that the League repay the £371m they are owed.

Kane, who has been out since January with a hamstring injury, also suggested that it might be time to leave Spurs if they aren’t going to be winning trophies.

Former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, who made the move to Old Trafford in 2008, said: ‘I see a lot of similarities in the situation I went through and what is happening with Kane at the minute.’

Though Levy has been criticised in the past for not spending transfer money, Tottenham have splashed out more than £100m in the past 12 months on Tanguy Ndombele, Steven Bergwijn and Ryan Sessegnon.

It has left manager Joe Mourinho with a bloated squad and selling Kane is now gaining favour with the Spurs chairman as he plots the club’s post-coronavirus future.

The £200m asking price would beat the world record £198m that PSG paid Barcelona for Neymar in 2017.

The mooted amount would be optimistic in the current climate, though. But even if Spurs do not fetch their full asking price, Kane is sure to smash the British transfer record of £89m paid by United for Paul Pogba.

Wayne Rooney believes Liverpool should win the title

Wayne Rooney believes Liverpool should be given the chance to finish the Premier League season and lift the trophy as champions.

The former Manchester United striker, who supports Everton, says not finishing the 2019-20 campaign after the coronavirus pandemic subsides would create too many problems, including “legal fights”.

Writing in the Sunday Times, the player-coach at Derby County also indicated it may take until the end of this year to do so, but that football must follow the governments advice on how to deal with the health crisis.

“Liverpool will win the Premier League,” he said. “Now, as you can imagine, I have Everton fans phoning me up saying: ‘The season has to be cancelled!’ And, of course, as an Evertonian and someone who played for Manchester United for 13 years, there’s a bit in me that thinks that would be good .

“But no. Liverpool have been fantastic. They have put so much work in. They deserve this title. Can you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this? The right decision has been made.

“It’s also right in terms of promotion and relegation and Champions League places. These issues are so big for the clubs involved that I imagine there would be a lot of legal fights if the season was just abandoned.

“The fair thing is to finish 2019-20 – even if we have to lose next season in the process.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if finishing the season takes until the end of 2020. Football, like every other industry, is in unknown territory and, just like every other industry, has to listen to the advice and take all necessary precautions.

“For me, that rules out finishing the season behind closed doors.”

Premier League suspended

English football will be suspended until at least 30 April because of the continued spread of coronavirus.

All games in England’s Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship, and all fixtures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are currently postponed.

The Football Association has also agreed that the current season can be “extended indefinitely”. 

Under current rules the season had been scheduled to end on 1 June.

A joint statement issued by the FA, Premier League and EFL expressed “a commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 season” and completing

all domestic and European matches “as soon as it is safe and possible to do so”.

Last week, West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady said the current season should be declared null and void

FA chairman Greg Clarke also expressed his concern that it might prove impossible for the season to be concluded.

However Brighton chief executive Paul Barber told the BBC that it would be ‘unjust’if runaway leaders Liverpool were denied the title, and suggested increasing the league to 22 teams for 2020-21.

Fifa has also established a working group to tackle the issues facing football as a result of the pandemic. The group will look at the international fixture calendar, and issues around player contracts.

Player contracts typically expire on 30 June but many leagues, if resumed, look likely to continue beyond that date.

Manchester United back to winning ways

Manchester United edge over West Ham with two Penalties from Paul Pogba.

Manchester United were victorious against West Ham United in their latest league bout .

Pogba had given the Reds a 19th-minute lead from the penalty spot but former City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s side wouldn’t lie down and came back to level in the second half through Felipe Anderson.

The Hammers almost went ahead, when substitute Mihail Antonio hit the crossbar and was then denied by a world-class save from David De Gea, but fortunately another spot-kick award got United out of jail. After his compatriot Anthony Martial was brought down, Pogba scored again with ten minutes to go to secure three points and keep the Reds on the coat-tails of Chelsea and Spurs.

West Ham had started the game as the more composed of the two sides and the more dangerous.

The Londoners thought they’d taken a 10th-minute lead through Felipe Anderson as he smashed in a Chicharito knockdown from close range. But the goal was quickly cancelled out as the referee’s assistant flagged for offside.

There was naturally disappointment for the visitors but seemingly few complaints at the decision.

The Reds had been getting a few crosses into the box but it always seemed to be the diminutive Juan Mata who was in the prime position, with little chance of connecting. But the service was more to the Spaniard’s liking when Anthony Martial passed to his feet inside the area after 17 minutes. Just as Mata went to strike the ball, he was taken out by a strong challenge from Snodgrass.

Referee Graham Scott had no doubts it was a spot-kick, despite the derision from the Hammers’ travelling support, and Pogba put all his power behind his hit as he beat goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with a piledriver virtually down the middle of the goal.

It was just the settler United needed after some difficult early moments. West Ham, though, were not downbeat and still caused the Reds some heart flutters at the back.

It was something of a disappointment that Pogba’s opener did not fire the Reds as expected and there was a fruitless struggle to get a second goal before the break, with only a wild effort from Diogo Dalot and a header from Chris Smalling giving some encouragement for the crowd.

West Ham, fortunately, didn’t produce much themselves with just an off-target swipe from Anderson and then a superb run down the right from the Brazilian that saw his low shot-cum-cross kept out by David De Gea’s outstretched leg.

The Reds were culpable when the West Ham equaliser finally came early in the second half.

Like the first 45 minutes, the visitors began the more confident of the two teams. But when De Gea gathered the ball in the 49th minute, it should have been the start of the Reds launching an attack.

However, the Spaniard bowled out a ball that was too heavy and caught Pogba by surprise. West Ham seized possession and their counter attack ended when Manuel Lanzini floated a cross to the far post and an unmarked Anderson steered home.

Solskjaer’s reaction to the leveller was to bring on Marcus Rashford for Mata in the 55th minute.

The sub’s introduction almost paid immediate dividends and credit to Chris Smalling as he burst forward out of defence to put the striker in with his pass. Rashford thrashed in a low shot that keeper Fabianski couldn’t hold and the ball squirmed away almost across his goalline with the loose ball crying out for a tap-in.

Rashford’s arrival was proving a potential match changer with the Mancunian then heading just over into the Stretford End after 63 minutes as the Reds began to look far more threatening.

The initial spark began to fade and Solskjaer made a double substitution in the 75th minute in a bid to lift his labouring side once again; Mason Greenwood and Andreas came on for Romelu Lukaku and Marcos Rojo.

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini made his own changes with Antonio coming on for Chicharito before Solskjaer’s swaps, and then Zabaleta made way for Fredericks.

But it was Antonio who made the biggest impact and rattled the Reds when his scorching shot had the cross bar shuddering and then a header needed a brilliant flip over the bar from De Gea to stop the Hammers going in front.

The double threat woke the hosts up and when Martial was clumsily brought down by Fredericks, the Reds were awarded another penalty.

Pogba versus Fabianski take two ended with the same result as the French midfielder crashed in from 12 yards to seal a much-needed win.

Manchester United are traveling to the camp Nou during the week and this win might as well be a big boost them.

Tribute to Emiliano Sala

The football world was left in Shock after the crash and death of ex Nantes Striker Emiliano Sala so we at Halifsblog Blog have decided to give you all a summary of his illustrious carer.

Emiliano Raúl Sala Taffarel (31 October 1990 – 21 January 2019) was an Argentine professional footballer who played as a forward.
After playing youth football in Argentina and following a short spell in Portugal’s regional leagues, Sala began his professional career in France with Bordeaux, making his professional debut in February 2012. After struggling to break into the first team, he was loaned out to Championnat National side Orléans and Ligue 2 side Niort in consecutive seasons. He enjoyed prolific spells with both clubs, scoring 39 goals between them, before returning to Bordeaux. After initially being promised an increased role after his successful loans, Sala fell out of favour again, and instead, joined fellow Ligue 1 side Caen on loan.

In 2015, he signed for Nantes on a permanent basis. With Nantes, he made more than 100 appearances in Ligue 1, and achieved a successful goalscoring record, finishing as the club’s top goalscorer for three consecutive seasons. His form prompted a move to Cardiff City in January 2019, for a club record fee of £15 million (€18 million).

Sala died in a plane crash off Alderney on 21 January 2019. He was flying from Nantes to Cardiff aboard a Piper Malibu light aircraft. An initial three-day search covered 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2) across the English Channel. Two subsequent private searches were launched, resulting in the discovery of the wreckage on 3 February; Sala’s body was recovered four days later.
Below are his total statistics

Team. Appearances Goals. Assists

Nantes. 128. 48. 13
CAEN. 3 5 1
SM CAEN B 1. 1. 0
BORDEAUX 11. 1
BORDEAUX II 2. 0. 0

Over his illustrious career he never won a major Trophy for club or Country but his impact in World football won’t be forgotten.

Rest in Peace Emiliano Sala

Manchester City Demolishes Chelsea

Man City vs Chelsea saw the Citizens destroyed Blues armies 6-0 at Etihad
The win saw them go top on the Premier League standings with 65 points
Meanwhile, Chelsea dropped to sixth on the log with 50 points, level with Arsenal
Manchester City continued with their impressive run in the Premier League after embarrassing former Champions, Chelsea, 6-0 at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, February 10.
This was City’s third test in their push to reclaim the EPL title after an arguably gruelling week that saw them battle Arsenal last weekend and Everton in midweek.
Both encounters saw the Pep Guardiola-tutored side pick maximum points as they leapfrogged Liverpool into the first place on the standings
Knowing too well a win against the Blues would once again catapult his side into the top spot, Guardiola fielded a relatively strong side in the Sunday clash, with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Bernado Silva starting upfront.
The lethal trio went on to play a pivotal part in City’s victory, with Aguero bagging a brace in the first half.
Sterling opened the scoring for the hosts within just four minutes of game play, with the Englishman capitalising on Bernado’s well-placed pass
Aguero nearly made it two four minutes later, but missed the sitter before finally scoring in the 13th minute with a deliciously curled shot into the top corner.
The Argentinian extended the lead six minutes later after Chelsea’s defensive lapse involving Rose Barkley and David Luiz.
Kepa’s goalkeeping blunder saw Gundogan score from the edge in the 25th minute as the first half finished 4-0 in favour of City.

In the second half, Aguero bagged a hat-trick from the penalty spot, after sending Kepa the wrong way to make it 5-0.

Sterling wrapped up City’s win from six yards off David Silva’s gorgeous pass in the 80th minute to put the game beyond the Blues.

The Etihad outfit now sit on the summit of the Premier League standings with 65 points as Chelsea dropped to sixth.

Manchester City beat Everton 2-0 to overthrow Liverpool at the summit of the Premier League table on Wednesday, February 6.

Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus scored a goal each to ensure the Citizens continued their title defence on a winning note.

Can City go on to win the League consecutively or will they let it Slip? I guess we just have to stick around to find out who will be crowned champions.

Sala confirmed dead

Local police confirmed that the body pulled from the English Channel this week is the former Nantes footballer

The body found in the wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been identified as the Cardiff City striker, it was confirmed on Thursday night.

The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) had confirmed on Wednesday that an unidentified body had been passed to the Dorset Coroner, having been recovered from the submerged plane.

The Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board on January 21, with the 28-year-old en route to Cardiff after having completed a club-record transfer from Ligue 1 side Nantes.

A police statement issued late on Thursday read: “The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala

“HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.”
An initial search and rescue effort was called off by Guernsey Police after three days on January 24.

Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker said their chances of survival were “extremely remote”, but a number of high-profile football figures and members of the public answered the family’s calls to fund a private search operation.

The plane was located on the seabed off Guernsey on Sunday using a remotely operated vehicle, during which time a body was found amid what remained of the light aircraft.
A recovery operation was then launched following consultation with the families of Sala and Ibbotson, and the police.

The football world came together in grief and to pay its respects as the severity of the Sala story began to unfold, with floral tributes laid outside Cardiff City Stadium and vigils held in Nantes, where 42 goals in three-and-a-half seasons made him a fan favourite.

Following reports of a dispute between the two clubs this week, Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman confirmed the Premier League outfit was yet to pay the first instalment of Sala’s transfer fee.

“We must show respect to the family. There is a process for recovering the plane,” he said, prior to Sala’s body being identified.

“[We will pay] when we think it’s the right time to do it. I don’t think Cardiff said we were not going to pay.”

Lingard Called English Iniesta by Former Red devil’s Boss

Rene Meulensteen is not surprised to see an academy graduate shining in midfield, but believes defensive reinforcements are needed at Old Trafford

Jesse Lingard has been billed as “the English version of Andres Iniesta” by Rene Meulensteen, with the Manchester United midfielder considered to share many attributes with a Barcelona legend.

A 26-year-old academy graduate has not always enjoyed such lofty billing at Old Trafford.

Several loan spells were taken in before he was finally given his United break by Louis van Gaal in 2015-16.

Lingard has not looked back from that point, taking in over 150 appearances and recording 29 goals – including a number of vital efforts in Wembley showpieces.

He is now considered to be a key man at club level and with the England national side, with Meulensteen of the opinion that his creative qualities were always going to flourish at some stage.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant told 888sport: “Sir Alex always had a clear picture of what a good player looked like and they had to have quick feet, quick brain, and a big heart.

“That is basically everything that Jesse had but he was very slight for his age. I worked with him from the age of eight or nine and taking him abroad for tournaments and he was always having to fight battles because he was of a tiny build.

“But all things level themselves out and eventually those three things make a difference – quick feet, a quick brain, and a big heart. And he has done every so well.

“The fans always need to associate themselves with players who have come through the ranks.

“While I was there and Sir Alex was there it was so important to keep bringing young players through.

“The difference with Jesse is that he was always the English version of Iniesta. He can play in the pockets, he’s very mobile and very agile.

“He can beat a man and he’s good in combination play. The last few seasons he started to score important goals as well.”
The emergence of Lingard has helped to bolster the creativity ranks at Old Trafford, but United do still find themselves short in other areas.

Additions at centre-half have been pursued for some time and Meulensteen concedes that reinforcements are required to help complement the impressive development of Victor Lindelof.

The Dutchman said: “Stability is a big thing, especially in the back four. Most of the successful teams are able to play with a solid and stable back line, including the goalkeeper.

“It’s normal with a club like Manchester United that it takes some time for a player to settle in but you can see now that Victor has settled.

“He’s played a string of games so he’s starting to find his feet and learning what is required to play at this level.

“He’s done well but the defence is still an area which people are looking at critically. Antonio Valencia is getting on and Ashley Young is a bit older now but still doing a great job.

“There is a need for a really good centre-back alongside Lindelof who can lead from the back and stabilise everything.

“If you look at the firepower and the pace United have up front along with the variety of abilities they can scare any defence in the Premier League and across Europe.

“In midfield they are strong. You have Paul Pogba to the fore and getting better. Nemanja Matic is very strong with a lot of experience.

“But you could maybe do with another creative player there, a passer that can unlock defences from deep.”

 

Manchester united close in on Top four

The interim boss overtook Sir Matt Busby’s record thanks to Marcus Rashford’s goal on Sunday

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has equalled the record for the most successful start of any Manchester United manager in history after winning his first five league games in charge.

 

The Norwegian matched Sir Matt Busby’s record of five consecutive wins in the top flight when his side beat Tottenham at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

 

Solskjaer took over in December following the sacking of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, although he is currently set to leave United at the end of the season with Gareth Southgate, Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino among the front-runners for the permanent job.

 

Premier League victories against Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Newcastle, as well as a FA Cup third-round win at home to Reading, have seen Solskjaer’s stock rise, and the win over Spurs is his best result yet.

 

The fact the Red Devils beat Pochettino’s side made the win even more poignant given the Argentine’s strong links to the job.

 

United’s players have shown renewed energy levels and enthusiasm under Solskjaer after they had grown weary with the leadership of Mourinho.

 

Paul Pogba in particular had had a public rift with the Portuguese, but has shown excellent form since being given a leading role by his new boss and set up Rashford against Tottenham with a stunning pass that dissected the Spurs defence.

 

Rashford himself has also excelled after being chosen ahead of Romelu Lukaku to lead the line for the Reds and has now scored four goals in five Premier League games since Solskjaer’s appointment; compared to just three under Mourinho prior to the Portuguese manager’s sacking.

It means the Reds have kept three clean sheets in a row, and they have David de Gea to thank for that after the keeper made 11 saves in the second half – more than any keeper has made in an entire Premier League game this season.

Although United have not improved their league position since the Norwegian’s appointment, they have now drawn level with fifth-placed Arsenal on points which means they have bridged the eight-point gap that existed when Solskjaer took over.

Liverpool thrash Arsenal to extend lead on the table

Liverpool roared back from a rare Anfield deficit to move nine points clear at the top of the Premier League as Roberto Firmino’s hat-trick inspired a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were also on target as Liverpool’s front three all scored in the same league game for the first time this season.
Liverpool had trailed at home in the league for the first time in a day short of a year when Ainsley Maitland-Niles turned home Alex Iwobi’s excellent cross 11 minutes in.
However, the lead lasted just three minutes as Firmino profited from some calamitous Arsenal defending to level and then left Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos on the floor to score his second goal in three minutes.
Mane and Salah’s penalty had the game wrapped up by half-time and Firmino completed his hat-trick from the spot as Jurgen Klopp’s men extended their unbeaten league start to 20 games and took another significant step towards a first league title since 1989/1990.
Win again in their next outing at Manchester City on Thursday and only a Liverpool collapse in the final months of the season can prevent an end to nearly three decades of hurt.
Champions City now trail the pacesetters by 10 points and even if they reduce that lead to seven with victory at Southampton on Sunday, they need to end Liverpool’s invincible season so far to get back in the title race at the Etihad.
Tottenham’s title ambitions suffered a huge blow as Wolves scored three times in the final 18 minutes to win 3-1 at Wembley earlier on Saturday to further embolden Anfield with belief before kick-off.
That confidence could have been shaken when after a bright Liverpool start, it was Arsenal who led when Iwobi’s teasing cross perfectly dissected Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk, to leave Maitland-Niles with an open goal.
The signings of Alisson and Van Dijk have been credited for Liverpool’s rock-solid defensive record with that goal just the eighth they have conceded all season in the league.
But that solidity is now being married with a return to the sort of form Salah, Firmino and Mane showed last season in smashing a combined 91 goals last season.
Firmino didn’t even have to look at the ball when he slotted the equaliser into an empty net after Sokratis’s attempted clearance rebounded off Mustafi into his path to quickly level.
However, the Brazilian did all the hard work himself two minutes later by jinking through Arsenal’s hapless central defensive pairing before drilling low past Bernd Leno.
Mane made it 3-1 on 32 minutes when Salah cushioned a cross perfectly into the Senegalese’s path to side-foot high into the net.
Arsenal were handed a let-off moments later by referee Michael Oliver when Granit Xhaka was only given a final warning rather than a second booking in a matter of seconds for kicking the ball away in frustration.
But Oliver gave Liverpool the chance to extend their lead just before half-time when Salah tumbled under pressure from Sokratis in the box.
Leno got a touch to the Egyptian’s spot-kick but couldn’t stop Salah moving level with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane as the Premier League’s top scorer on 13.
Liverpool could easily have had more after the break as only a poor touch from Salah allowed Leno to smother and the German ‘keeper also denied Fabinho, while at the other end Aubameyang’s blushes were saved by the offside flag when he fired over with an open goal gaping.
Salah gave up the chance to move clear in the race for the golden boot when Sead Kolasinac pushed Dejan Lovren 25 minutes from time and Firmino gratefully fired home the penalty to round off a five-star performance.

Liverpool go into the new year at the top of the table could this be the turn around year for the Merseyside team

Manchester United appoint Solskjaer as manager until end of the season

The Norwegian coach has been installed as the club’s new temporary boss following Jose Mourinho’s sacking
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as Manchester United’s interim manager for the rest of the season.
The former Red Devils striker, who played at Old Trafford for over a decade between 1996 and 2007, takes over on a temporary basis in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s exit on Tuesday.
A United statement read: “Manchester United announced today that former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the 2018-19 season.
“Solskjaer will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new full-time manager.”
He arrives from Norwegian side Molde, having returned to the club for a second stint back in 2015. Mike Phelan has also returned to United in the role of first-team coach and will work alongside the club’s former midfielder Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.
Solskjaer, whose appointment had been accidentally revealed late on Tuesday, told United’s official website : “Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added: “Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles. His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back. We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.”
A forward perhaps best known as a “super sub” for United, Solskjaer famously came off the bench against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final to score an injury-time winner and hand Sir Alex Ferguson’s side their first European honour for over 30 years.
He also picked up six Premier League titles and two FA Cups, among other honours, during his time as a player at the club.
At international level, he won 67 caps for Norway and was a member of their 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship squads, reaching the last 16 in the former.
Following his retirement, Solskjaer transitioned from the United playing squad to the managerial set-up, where he took charge of the reserves at Carrington under Ferguson between 2008 and 2011.
He left the club to take the reins at Molde, where he had played before switching to United, and won the Tippeligaen league title in his first season in charge, in 2011.
He was coaxed back to the United Kingdom in early 2014 to replace Malky Mackay as manager of relegation-threatened Cardiff City but was unable to prevent the club from making the drop back into the Championship.
A subsequent dismissal followed after a run of poor results to open the 2014-15 campaign and Solskjaer was reappointed Molde boss the following October on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Man Utd sack Mourinho after poor start to the season

The Red Devils have won just two of their last eight matches in all competitions and sit 11 points off fourth place in the Premier League

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United following their disappointing start to the season.

The Red Devils currently sit sixth in the Premier League table but have already lost five times in 17 matches, leaving them 19 points behind leaders Liverpool and 11 off fourth-placed Chelsea in the fight for Champions League places.

That follows a summer transfer window in which Mourinho routinely complained about a lack of signings, with the Portuguese unable to persuade the club’s hierarchy to sign a new centre-back.

Mourinho has continued to drop hints that he remains unhappy at that failure to spend big, and he now leaves after two-and-a-half years at the Old Trafford helm, with his final match in charge Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool.

“Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect,” a statement read.

“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.

“A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”

Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal in the United hotseat in the summer of 2016 and was tasked with leading the 20-time English champions back to the top of the domestic game after a barren three years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s appointment.

He started well, winning the Community Shield in his first match in charge before claiming the League Cup thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired 3-2 win over Southampton.

Form in the league was not as strong, however, with the Red Devils only able to finish in sixth place, though their season did end on a high as a 2-0 win over Ajax in the final of the Europa League saw them qualify for the 2017-18 Champions League.

Mourinho’s second season in charge saw United finish a distant second in the Premier League to Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking Manchester City, and while they crashed out of the Champions League to Sevilla in the last 16 and lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea, there was hope the former Real Madrid boss would be able to kick on again having signed a new improved contract in the early weeks of 2018.

That has not come to pass, however, with United currently on a run of just two wins from eight matches in all competitions.

Further to displays on the pitch, reports of dressing room unrest have overshadowed Man Utd’s performances over the course of the season, with Mourinho’s relationship with club-record signing Paul Pogba a constant talking point.

World Cup winner Pogba has struggled for consistency under Mourinho, and this season things seem to have taken a turn for the worse, with the former Juventus man unable to hold down a regular berth in the ex-Chelsea boss’ preferred 11.

The nadir came at Anfield on Sunday, with Mourinho deciding against bringing Pogba off the bench despite his side needing to find a goal to get back into the game following Xherdan Shaqiri’s own match-winning performance as a substitute for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Whomever takes temporary charge until the end of the season will now be tasked with pushing United back into the race to finish in the top four while also plotting a path towards silverware in both the Champions League – where they play Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 – and the FA Cup, with Reading their third-round opponents.

Reports suggest assistant coach Michael Carrick is not in the frame to take on that role, with the interim manager’s first game on Saturday away at Cardiff City, and an external candidate expected to be appointed within 48 hours.

Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, are among the favourites to take the role full-time come the summer.