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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Manchester United told they are going in ‘reverse’ under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Andy Gray has delivered his verdict on Manchester United after their 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.

United were 2-0 down by half time thanks to an Eric Bailly own goal and a strike from Bernando Silva in first half stoppage time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side didn’t look likely to get back into the game after the break, and in the end it was a comfortable victory for City.

The defeat leaves United fifth in the Premier League table, six points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s side and three behind fourth placed West Ham who have a game in hand.

The loss to City is only two weeks removed from United’s humiliating 5-0 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool, and the pressure is continuing to mount on Solskjaer after another poor display at home.

Former Everton striker Gray, claims United can no longer compete with the very top sides on the pitch anymore.

“They’ll beat teams because of good individuals, but ask them to play against a top team and two out of the last three games they’ve played in the league and they’re getting hammered,” he told beIN SPORTS.

“How can United, three years down the line after appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and affording him millions of pounds to spend on players, be this bad?”

Fellow pundit Nigel de Jong agreed with Gray’s withering assessment.

“He came in as an interim coach and the momentum was different, especially for players,” the former City midfielder said.

“Looking back now, thinking about the interview he gave after the Liverpool game, [saying] ‘I can’t quit now, we’re too far in’, to what? I think he put the gear in reverse.”

Gray also claims that after United’s excellent recruitment in the summer, when they brought in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, they have the quality to challenge for the title.

However, he doesn’t believe that Solskjaer has the knowhow or experience to compete with City, Chelsea and Liverpool over the course of a season.

He added: “The damning thing for me is when I look at the players he took over and the group of players they’ve got now, I think the players they’ve got now are better.

“It’s stronger depth, when you can look behind you and see good players sitting there and they can change the way they play and they’re a much, much better — quality-wise — group of players.

“That should be a group good enough for a title challenge, if the man who’s coaching them is picking the team, setting the tactics and driving them and motivating them.

“If it doesn’t come from him. Then this group of players is going to do what it’s doing now and fail to achieve what I think it can.”

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