While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently made a name for himself as the Manchester United gaffer, it’s important to remember the valuable impact he made as a player.
Throughout his stint as Old Trafford’s ‘super-sub’, the legendary striker wrote his name into the history books on more than one occasion. So to mark his remarkable legacy, we’re counting down his top four moments in a ‘Red Devils’ shirt.
4) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes out Rob Lee
While it isn’t often advised to get a red card, the Norwegian didn’t have much of a choice as Rob Lee sprinted towards goal.
During the 1997-98 season, United were feeling the pressure when Newcastle came to town. With the score tied at 1-1, ‘The Magpies’ delivered the ball to their star man, who looked destined to find the winner.
Despite Lee having a 10-yard start, Solskjaer hunted him down and committed a pretty horrendous challenge. An appalled referee showed him a straight red. But knowing he prevented a guaranteed goal, David Beckham ran over and patted him on the back, as Solskjaer confessed: “I had to do it.”
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3) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bags late winner against Liverpool
When the pressure mounted, the Kristiansund native rose to the occasion. During a fourth-round FA cup fixture against Liverpool, in 1998-99, Solskjaer bagged one of his most iconic finishes.
With the clock running down, the ball landed at the feet of the forward, who smashed it past David James to send the crowd into raptures. And in a state of pure euphoria, the player ran towards the Stretford End, kissing the United badge, and proving his status as an all-time great.
2) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes goalscoring comeback against Charlton
At the start of the 2003-04 season, Solskjaer was plagued with injuries, which resulted in him missing the bulk of the next three years. Therefore, as his recovery dragged on, fans feared whether he’d ever make it back to the pinnacle of the sport. However, in a testament to his self-belief, the goal-scorer never gave up.
In August 2006, Solskjaer came off the bench with just ten minutes left to play and bagged a 90th-minute finish. Clearly overwhelmed by emotion, the icon bowed to the fans, before going on to have an excellent season, scoring 11 goals in 32 appearances.
1) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wins the Champions League against Bayern Munich
In arguably the most significant moment in Manchester United history, Solskjaer strolled off the bench with the intent of making his mark.
With the side a goal down in the Champions League Final, which was in its dying minutes, the writing was on the wall. But in injury time, Teddy Sheringham found the goal to put the English club on level pegging. Consequently, all attention turned to Solskjaer, with United supporters all fully aware that he knew how to turn a game on its head.
With the referee set to blow his whistle, United had one last corner. As Beckham drilled it into the box, there was only ever one man who was going to pounce on the end of it.
Solskjaer flicked the ball past the goalkeeper, to secure an incredible treble-winning year for the club and endear himself to the supporters until the end of time.
Speaking to Reuters, he said: “To have been such a big part of their lives—many have told me it was the biggest moment of their lives, bigger than their wedding day. But they don’t say that if their wives are with them.”
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