Manchester United v Manchester City Match in Pictures
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Manchester United chiefs have been left in a tricky situation after being presented with a significant obstacle when it comes to their stance on sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Defeat by Manchester City on Saturday was merely the latest in a long line of disappointing results, and the Norwegian has come under renewed pressure as we head into the international break.
Pep Guardiola’s City side ran away with victory at Old Trafford, with the 2-0 scoreline not doing justice to their dominance.
Those in attendance were largely unhappy with United’s display, venting their anger at full time as Solskjaer was once again left defending his team’s performance.
An own-goal from Eric Bailly, a particularly poor showing from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and a failed attempt to experiment with a back five were all part of a torrid afternoon for the Red Devils boss, who some consider lucky to still be in a job.
According to The Athletic, he is unlikely to be sacked before United’s next game as the crucial ‘tipping point’ is not believed to have been reached in the boardroom.
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The report also states that a significant factor regarding their reluctance to part company with Solskjaer is a fundamental lack of alternatives.
Antonio Conte was heavily linked with the hotseat last week, although he was taken off the table after being snapped up by Tottenham.
That removed perhaps their only candidate who was out of work, willing to sign and a safe bet when it comes to delivering success.
Links to Zinedine Zidane appear to have fallen flat, while Mauricio Pochettino seems eternally linked to the United job but his appointment would come with difficulties.
For one, he is already tied up at PSG, but despite their 10-point lead clear at the top of Ligue 1, there are early signs of strained relationships between the Argentine and his players.
Kylian Mbappe refused to outright back his boss after their latest struggle against Bordeaux, suggesting that a deal could be there to be made for United.
However, it appears as though Solskjaer will be given another chance to turn things around, with a relatively simpler trip to Watford after the international break.
“I think it might be [good timing for the international break],” said Solskjaer after Man City’s win.
“Today, of course, is a couple of steps back again after a few steps forward last week [against Tottenham].
“We need to have everyone back, fresh in their minds, ready to go and we need to look more like when we started to look like before the Liverpool game.
“That performance against Liverpool dented us big time. Last week looked like we might get through this, today was a massive test but we weren’t at the standard that we know we can be.”
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