Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United boss sacked after loss to Huddersfield

Manchester United have sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the team suffered another shock 4-1 defeat to relegation-threatened Huddersfield.

Press Association Sport understands Solskjaer’s job was put at risk in the wake of the 4-1 loss at Huddersfield on Monday – their third Premier League loss in four games and fifth in a row.

Huddersfield broke a 47-year goalless run at Old Trafford to inflict a fifth successive defeat on United – equalling the worst run of a manager taking charge of just one game – and the heaviest win by the Terriers.

Solskjaer, appointed United manager with the club on the precipice of another title failure in 2017, was not shown the door this week and retains the support of the club’s hierarchy despite United’s poor form.

However, he did sign an expensive three-year contract last summer, one that set him the task of improving a team that won the domestic title in his first season but had won just two of their first 12 games this term.

“Manchester United has today announced the departure of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the 4-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on Monday,” the club said in a statement.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.

“He steered the club to 13 wins, four draws and three defeats in his 25 matches in charge. His work with the squad has been instrumental in the young players breaking into the first team and the team now in the best form of the season.

“We will begin the process of appointing a new manager immediately.”

The United board have been disturbed by the manner of their recent results, the latest of which left them 18 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City with 11 games to play and a relegation battle looming.

United are now five points behind eighth-placed Newcastle, who have a game in hand and are three points above them.

Further victory in a crucial derby at Manchester City next weekend would remove any lingering doubt over Solskjaer’s tenure but the club will have to strengthen their squad before that if they are to play with a style that results in silverware.

Solskjaer lost his last five league games before he was appointed in December, all of which came by margins of two goals or fewer.

That impressive turnaround under his care was heralded as the sign of something special but his only win in his last five league games before Monday was his first game in charge.

The 44-year-old is expected to be officially replaced by former midfielder Ryan Giggs, who won 13 Premier League titles with United.

Solskjaer was given permission to speak to his other options after United took a substantial lead to Old Trafford for his first game – but it was the Terriers who left with the points.

United not only lost for the first time at home this season but they went behind after nine minutes to Nathan Sweeney’s first-time shot and it went from bad to worse after the break.

Kieran Trippier’s corner was flicked on by a United defender into the path of Steve Mounie, who beat United goalkeeper David de Gea before to make it 2-0.

Matty Smith grabbed his first goal for the club with a clever chip before Yeovil Town loanee Terence Kongolo’s header made it 4-0 on the hour mark.

Taylor Jeffers got one back to set up a tense finale before Philip Billing grabbed an injury-time consolation for the Terriers.

The defeat, which came after Sunday’s 4-1 FA Cup fourth-round drubbing at the hands of Chelsea, was the first time in 27 years that a United side with a significant lead at half-time have fallen to defeat.

United are now unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions and were still fifth in the Premier League going into this game.

However, three wins from their last six would have put them one place above Huddersfield and ahead of Newcastle.

That one point would have given United plenty of breathing space and avoided the worst spell of their manager’s tenure.

The club’s previous worst losing run under Sir Alex Ferguson was during his solitary season in charge, which was during the infamous red-knuckle days when his side won just one game from their first 18.

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