Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked as Manchester United manager following Watford defeat

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked. Credit: PA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked as Manchester United manager following a dismal run of results.

The Norwegian has been under increasing pressure ever since humiliating home defeats to bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

Saturday's limp 4-1 defeat to struggling Watford capped off a run of form that ultimately broke the Manchester United board's faith in Solskjaer, who is seen as a club legend for 11 years of service as a striker there.

United said that Michael Carrick will take charge of the forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an “interim manager” for the rest of the season.

In a statement released on Twitter, the club said: "Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.

"Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future. His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family."

Former Manchester United player Gary Neville reacted to the news, saying he did United "proud" and that he had "restored some soul into the club".

Any Mitten, editor of Manchester United fanzine United We Stand, breaks down the difficulties facing the club and why the decision-making has not been good enough

Carrick’s first assignment after stepping up from his role as assistant manager is a vital Champions League clash away to Villarreal coming up on Tuesday.

The writing was on the wall for Solskjaer when Watford flew into a 2-0 lead through Josh King and Ismaila Sarr.

Substitute Donny van de Beek pulled one back but United’s under-fire captain Harry Maguire was sent off after 69 minutes and late goals from Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis piled on the misery.

Ole's sacking comes after a string of defeats for the club. Credit: PA

Former United striker Solskjaer was appointed caretaker boss in December 2018 to replace Jose Mourinho.

The Norwegian became the first United manager to win his first six league games, beating a record held by Sir Matt Busby, and was handed the permanent role the following March.

United finished second behind Manchester City last season but currently lie seventh, six points off West Ham in fourth and 12 behind leaders Chelsea.

Solskjaer insisted he could still turn things around in the wake of another chastening afternoon at Vicarage Road, but it appears the club disagree.

United keeper David De Gea gave a damning verdict on United’s display at Watford, telling the BBC: “We don’t know what to do with the ball. We don’t know how to defend properly.

“It was embarrassing, the way we played. The first half was very poor – it’s not acceptable for this club and the level of players that we have.

“It’s another nightmare. There’s been some difficulties but I don’t really know what to say.”