Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his Manchester United side dismantle Southampton 9-0 on Tuesday and will hope to be celebrating again on a personal landmark occasion against Everton.

The Norwegian, once a fan favourite as a striker at Old Trafford, will rack up his 100th game as a manager in the Premier League – including his spell as Cardiff City boss in 2014 – when the Toffees make the short hop to Manchester on Saturday.

At United, there have been some highs, some lows and more than a smattering of mediocrity, but the record-equalling hammering of Saints was further proof of the improvement made under Solskjaer's leadership this season.

Ahead of the meeting against Carlo Ancelotti's side, we took a quick look at how Solskjaer ranks against United's other Premier League managers.


Fergie in a league of his own, but Jose within sight

It should come as little surprise that legendary Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson, who oversaw a trophy-laden 27-year spell, is far and away the most successful boss in the Premier League era for United.

In total, he took charge of 810 games in the competition, triumphing in 528 of those for a win percentage of 65.2 and an average of 2.16 points per game. There were 114 defeats in this time and a whopping 1,627 goals.

At United, Solskjaer has overseen 81 Premier League matches, with 41 wins and 17 defeats – a win percentage of 53.1 and 1.85 points per game.

That record trails Jose Mourinho slightly. The Portuguese, who was in the dugout for 93 top-flight matches, won 50 of his games. He accumulated an average of 1.89 points per game and his win percentage was 53.8.

Solskjaer, though, is performing better than two of his predecessors in Louis van Gaal (51.3 win percentage, 1.79 points per game) and David Moyes (50 win percentage, 1.68 points per game).


Comparisons to Fergie's first hundred

There was once a time when even the great Ferguson saw his position under threat at Old Trafford, but boy was there a monumental payoff for the patience shown by United's hierarchy.

During the Scot's first 100 hundred matches as a manager in the Premier League, he won 62, drew 25 and lost only 13.

He had a win percentage of 62 and an average of 2.11 points per game, while there were 178 goals scored and only 79 conceded.

Some of Solskjaer's 99 Premier League matches of course include that short and unsuccessful stint in south Wales.

Thus far he has been victorious 46 times for a win percentage of 46.5, while there have been 24 draws and 29 defeats.

Solskjaer has an average of 1.64 points per game, while his teams have scored 165 and shipped in 130.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Paul Pogba is happy at Manchester United and said an "open dialogue" remained over a possible extension.

The France international's future has been a constant talking point amid links with Real Madrid and a possible return to Juventus.

Pogba, 27, is contracted at United until 2022, but his agent Mino Raiola said late last year the midfielder was unhappy at Old Trafford and had to leave.

United manager Solskjaer said Pogba was happy at United and suggested a fresh deal was possible.

"We've got a good open dialogue with Paul so what we talk about and how we see that situation remains between us," he told reporters.

"I'm just happy he's focused and playing really well. He's happy within himself and that's important. You can see Paul enjoying football himself with a red shirt on.

"Our conversations remain private, of course. But for example, Paul is a Manchester United player through and through. He's been here in two spells. He came as a kid, he's learnt about the history of the club, the passion of the club.

"He wants to do the best for United when he's here and I think we've seen that – that he really cares for his team and he's trying to be as successful as everyone else."

While some of Pogba's passing numbers are down, his possession won in final third (0.8 per 90 minutes) and interceptions (1.2) in the Premier League are at their highest since he returned to United in 2016.

Pogba also scored match-winners against Burnley and Fulham last month and Solskjaer praised the midfielder's recent performances.

"The answer is Paul has really knuckled down, he's worked hard, he's got his fitness," he said.

"I have said this many a time he had a bad season last season with injuries and he had COVID this season and an injury, but he really works hard and is playing in a team that plays well and he's a big inspiration for everyone."

United can move level on points with Premier League leaders and rivals Manchester City with a win over Everton on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists no one in his Manchester United side will get carried away by their 9-0 battering of Southampton when they host Everton on Saturday.

The Red Devils humiliated the Saints at Old Trafford, albeit their cause was aided slightly by Alexandre Jankewitz being sent off after just two minutes, while the visitors also had Jan Bednarek dismissed when the scoreline was at 6-0 – a red card that was later overturned on appeal.

It was an ideal riposte given United had suffered a shock defeat to Sheffield United in their previous home game and followed that with a goalless draw at Arsenal.

But United boss Solskjaer, who confirmed Edinson Cavani should be available after hurting his ankle against Southampton, says the focus quickly turned to Everton following the record-equalling win.

"You've got to take the good with the good, and the bad with the bad sometimes," he said. 

"What the boys took from that one is we did the right things. No one will get carried away with the scoreline, we played against 10 for the whole game. 

"It's demoralising for them when they lose the players when they did. When we got the 2-0 it was pretty much game over. We've not really mentioned the game, the focus is on Everton."

United won just one of their opening six home league matches of the season but have now emerged triumphant in four of the past five in the top flight at Old Trafford.

For Solskjaer, consistency is king.

"Consistency is vital, we've played really well away from home and now bounced back after the Sheffield United defeat now," he added. 

"We're ready to kick on, hopefully we can gain some momentum. We know it won't be easy playing every two or three days. If we can play with consistency, get morale up, who knows?

"It's about doing the right things, creating good habits every day on the training pitch. The game against Southampton we managed to practice a lot of that attacking [play] playing against the 10 men deep block. 

"After scoring one or two you can just drop your shoulders because you know the result is there for you."

The game against Everton will take place on the 63rd anniversary of the Munich air disaster, where seven members of United's famous 'Busby Babes' team died among 23 total casualties when their plane crashed on take-off.

"It's only the fourth time the game is played on the actual anniversary, it's important we put on a fitting performance," Solskjaer said.

"Hopefully we can honour them with a result. It's such an important part of our history and spirit of the club. 

"We have of course spoken to the players who have come into the club and come here and not been part of the anniversary. It's a big day for everyone, emotional for everyone at the club."

The match is also a landmark one for Solskjaer, who will rack up a 100th game as a manager in the Premier League.

"I'm a bit older and wiser hopefully and a lot more grey up top!" Solskjaer joked.

"I didn't know it was my 100th game but what you learn is the game is moving so much quicker, you have to keep up with pace of the game.

"I've not enjoyed every one of them, you don't enjoy it when you lose but you enjoy testing yourself against good coaches and managers."

Anthony Martial's Manchester United debut is one of the club's most memorable in the modern era of the Premier League. His jinking run left Liverpool's defence in knots before he coolly slotted into the bottom-right corner to help secure a 3-1 win over his new team's bitter rivals.

It was a stunning start and one that promised much for the future, producing the ultimate response to the many pundits who had questioned his signing and reported £36million transfer fee.

Yet, five and a half years on, it's difficult to say Martial's debut resembles a microcosm of his United career, with those spectacular moments remaining fleeting rather than developing into sustained excellence.

Of course, 2019-20 was surely the closest he's come to finding consistency as he scored 17 times in the Premier League. Finally, the penny had seemingly dropped and Martial was developing the decisiveness he had previously teased in flashes.

But 2020-21 has been largely disappointing for the Frenchman and has fans wondering if he is their best option. Was last season just another false dawn?

 

THE REGRESSION

United fans will hope Martial's lively appearance off the bench in Tuesday's remarkable 9-0 demolition of Southampton is a sign of things to come – he got two goals and also won a penalty, albeit a questionable one.

There was certainly plenty to like about his performance, with both goals coming from the central zone of the penalty area, and the first saw him use his strength to see off a defender prior to finding the net. For a player whose suitability as a number nine has been questioned, it was a promising development.

But while there were undoubtedly reasons for optimism, we cannot disregard his previous struggles this season on the basis of that 9-0 win. Saints became subjugated essentially as soon as Alexandre Jankewitz was sent off after 82 seconds, and Martial's second came when Ralph Hasenhuttl's side were down to nine men.

Before Tuesday, Martial's shot conversion rate this season (5.9 per cent) had been lower than any of his previous campaigns with United. Even when you take into consideration his two latest goals, which lifts it to 13.3 per cent, he's still well down on 2019-20 (21.3 per cent) and 2018-19 (25.6 per cent).

His issues don't appear to come down to a lack of clear opportunities either, as prior to Tuesday he was actually averaging roughly the same amount of big chances per 90 minutes this season as in 2019-20 (0.7). However, he had been proving more wasteful from such situations, with Martial's big chance conversion rate of 0.15 per game down from 0.3.

Martial particularly excelled with regards to expected goals in 2019-20, with his xG rating of 11.3 meaning he netted six more than he would have been expected to – by comparison, ahead of the Southampton win, he had two goals from an xG of 4.5.

Positionally, Martial has generally occupied the same spaces as he did in 2019-20 but given his emphatic out-performing of xG was seemingly unsustainable, perhaps this is part of the problem.

A NEW THREAT

Edinson Cavani's signing, while initially criticised as a knee-jerk or 'panic' acquisition, was always likely to be a positive move for United as it offered them a new dynamic in attack. Martial may like to play at being a number nine, he may wear that shirt, but his characteristics are much different to those of Cavani.

Even though Martial has been regularly deployed as the focal point of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's attack over the past 18 months, his positional maps still prove a predilection to operate from the left.

 

Being involved more towards the left than the right flank is understandable in one sense, given United carry greater threat there with Luke Shaw than they do on the opposite side with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

But Cavani takes up central positions with greater regularity than Martial. As such, the Uruguayan's far greater goal frequency this term (one every 133 minutes, compared to one every 312.5 minutes for Martial) cannot be a surprise, even if Martial actually averages more touches of the ball in the area (7.6 per 90 mins, to 5.3).

There is also a school of thought that Martial's mentality becomes affected when he feels threatened. It's not a secret that he had long seen his future as a central striker, but Louis van Gaal felt he was better suited to playing on the flank and Jose Mourinho openly questioned his suitability to the number nine role.

The latter's arrival in 2016 coincided with the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who essentially killed Martial's chances of playing as a striker, and his form subsequently suffered almost across the board after a positive first season.

Although he showed signs of improvement in 2017-18 despite Romelu Lukaku's arrival, Martial was no more productive than when he first joined.

And now there's Cavani, who is out-scoring Martial five to four despite playing less than half the number of minutes in the Premier League this season. It seems he's treading on Martial's toes rather than keeping him on them.

CAVANI THE MORE DEPENDABLE OPTION?

For what it's worth, Martial's dip in form hasn't impacted United massively – after all, they've a better xG differential this term (5.7) than they did in 2019-20 (3.2) and are challenging at the top of the table, something they haven't really managed since Alex Ferguson's retirement.

 

Tuesday's mauling of Southampton might have been just what the doctor ordered for Martial, who had previously gone a month without a goal in all competitions, though few would have any complaints if Cavani was just starting out on a run as United's first choice in attack.

He may not possess the pace of Martial or indeed his ability on the ball, but he has proven more clinical as evidenced by his greater conversion rate of big chances (45.4 per cent, over 33.3), such as his nonchalant header against Southampton.

The experienced Uruguay international is also being presented with more big chances (1.5 per 90 minutes) than Martial (0.9), suggesting Cavani boasts a greater ability to create openings with his movement.

It is, of course, always handy to have players with varying skillsets and it offers Solskjaer the ability to choose individuals based on his set-up or the opposition on a given day.

But on current form, the more consistent talents of Cavani might just offer United the greater reliability they need if they're to sustain a title challenge.

At the very least, he would seem a smart choice on Saturday if fit having already netted three times in two games for United against Everton.

Manchester United's forwards have their "mojo" back after leading Tuesday's remarkable 9-0 demolition of nine-man Southampton at Old Trafford.

It was only the third instance of a team winning a Premier League match by nine goals and the first time United have won by that margin since March 1995, when they beat Ipswich Town by the same score.

While Andy Cole was the five-goal inspiration in that 1995 win, this time United shared the goals around – seven players netted on Tuesday, making it only the second occasion so many different individuals have netted for the same team in a single Premier League match.

Among them were Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani, providing the perfect response to Solskjaer's pre-match comments maligning the loss of his forwards' "mojo".

"Yeah, of course they have," Solskjaer said with a laugh to BT Sport when asked if they had recovered that "mojo".

"You get lots of confidence from a performance like this and the result, scoring goals is always good for forwards and the team."

He added: "We have been waiting for them to show their magic and tonight was a night they could go and enjoy.

"We haven't had too many of those where you can sit down in the second half and enjoy the football, so they enjoyed it. There were some good performances."

Alexandre Jankewitz's red card for a shocking second-minute tackle on Scott McTominay – who was also among the scorers – left Saints with an uphill battle, and Jan Bednarek followed him down the tunnel in the second half in rather more controversial circumstances.

But the focus will be on United's scoring prowess in the contest, as they put Saints to the sword.

Rashford's goal saw him move on to 83 for the club, overtaking Eric Cantona, and Solskjaer took the moment to praise the England international as he has occasionally had to contend with critics urging him to concentrate on his football amid his charitable efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

"That's not bad," Solskjaer said of Rashford surpassing Cantona. "Eric was a fantastic player to play with and Marcus has a great career ahead of him.

"What he's done this season, this year, it just shows he can still focus on his football as well."

Poor, poor Southampton.

For all the progress Ralph Hasenhuttl has made since their October 2019 mauling at the hands of Leicester City, here they are again. 9-0. Again.

Manchester United made hay at Old Trafford, reigniting their Premier League title bid by equalling the competition's all-time largest winning margin - the second time the 20-time English champions have accomplished the feat, albeit with a near 26-year gap.

Saints' teenage debutant Alexandre Jankewitz was sent off in the second minute and it got unimaginably worse or implausibly better from there, depending on your point of view.

Here, we look back at the times one-sided encounters in England's top flight have spun wildly out of control.

Manchester United 9-0 Southampton - February 2, 2021

After Jankewitz was dismissed for a shocking studs-up lunge on Scott McTominay, Hasenhuttl perhaps should have checked the date and feared the worst. February 2 is Groundhog Day. Aaron Wan-Bissaka got United off and running in the 18th minute, with Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani more familiar sights on the scoresheet either side of a Jan Bednarek own goal. Anthony Martial came on at half-time, but even after he scored in the 69th minute and McTominay did shortly afterwards, the game could have meandered towards a conclusion. Instead, the roof fell in on Southampton as they crumpled entirely under late strikes from Martial and Dan James after a Bruno Fernandes penalty and a red card for Bednarek.

Southampton 0-9 Leicester City – October 25, 2019

Ryan Bertrand - one of seven Southampton players to feature in both 9-0s - was the Jankewitz of the piece as he was sent off for a challenge in the build-up to Ben Chilwell's 10th-minute opener. Youri Tielemans was granted ample room to double the lead, then Ayoze Perez began romping towards a hat-trick that he completed a minute before Jamie Vardy's headed second made it 7-0 in the 58th minute. A James Maddison free-kick and a Vardy penalty took this defeat into uncharted territory for a home side in the Premier League.

Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town – March 4, 1995

For nearly a quarter of a century, Alex Ferguson's United were out there on their own. Andy Cole scored five after Roy Keane began this rout in the 15th minute. Mark Hughes hit a quickfire second-half double and Paul Ince also got in on the act. Peter Schmeichel watched it all unfold from the other end, just as his son Kasper did in goal for Leicester at St Mary's all those years later.

Tottenham 9-1 Wigan Athletic – November 22, 2009

Wigan had a slither of hope when Paul Scharner pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 before the hour at White Hart Lane. Ultimately, the only significance of that strike was to keep them off the top of this list. Jermain Defoe did his best Cole impression, rattling in five goals from the 51st minute onwards, while Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Nico Kranjcar piled on the pain. Remarkably, Peter Crouch's ninth-minute header was the only goal of the 10 scored before half-time.

That same season, Wigan lost 8-0 at Chelsea, who beat Aston Villa by the same margin at Stamford Bridge two years later. Newcastle United claimed the division's first 8-0 scoreline at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday in 1999, with Alan Shearer scoring five.

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland – October 18, 2014

The St Mary's faithful at least know what it feels like to be on the joyous end of what they have endured in the past two seasons. The boot was definitely on the other foot here, although what exactly Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini and his boots were trying to achieve when he inexplicably walloped into his own net after 12 minutes remains anyone's guess. Graziano Pelle scored the first of a double six minutes later. Jack Cork, Dusan Tadic and Victor Wanyama also netted, with Patrick van Aanholt and Liam Bridcutt joining Vergini in putting through their own goal.

Manchester City 8-0 Watford – September 21, 2019

When City raced into a 5-0 lead inside 18 minutes against Watford last season, double figures looked to be on the cards for the first time in the Premier League era. David Silva netted from close range inside a minute, with Riyad Mahrez winning a penalty for Sergio Aguero before scoring himself. Bernardo Silva opened his tally on the way to a hat-trick, with Nicolas Otamendi a more unlikely first-half goalscorer. Kevin De Bruyne masterfully orchestrated the destruction of a side City demolished 6-0 four months earlier in the FA Cup final and wrapped up the scoring with an emphatic strike into the top corner.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 – February 6, 1999

The biggest away win the Premier League had seen until Leicester went about their savagery. This seemed fairly standard stuff for Alex Ferguson's majestic treble-winning side as Dwight Yorke and Cole both scored twice against an overmatched Forest, who would finish the season bottom of the table. Standard, that was, until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emerged from the bench and pilfered four goals in the final 11 minutes at the City Ground. Apparently, he has passed on the wisdom of targeting flurries of late goals against bedraggled opponents.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has challenged his Manchester United players to rediscover their "mojo" as they bid to return to winning ways in the Premier League against Southampton on Tuesday.  

The Red Devils' title tilt has suffered a blow over the past week, a shock home defeat to rock-bottom Sheffield United followed up with a point from a 0-0 result at Arsenal on Saturday – their fourth goalless draw in the league this season.  

They are now three points behind leaders Manchester City - who also have a game in hand - in the Premier League table, having sat top not so long ago. 

United will hope to get back on track against a Southampton side they have not lost to in nine games, although they are looking to complete their first league double over them since their title-winning campaign of 2012-13. 

Ralph Hasenhuttl's side might fancy their chances of ending that run, however, given United have lost four of their 10 top-flight home games this season. That is already the third highest number of losses they have suffered in a single Premier League campaign, after 2001-02 (six) and 2013-14 (seven). 

United have scored just four goals in their previous five Premier League games, leading Solskjaer to acknowledge his side have lacked "spark" in front of goal.

"There's not been time to do a lot on the training pitch," he told a media conference. "The boys that played are still on the recovery track from Saturday but they have to prepare for the game tomorrow; it's right in between for them. 

"The session was light but they scored some goals. We want to get that mojo back, that spark. 

"We have created enough chances to score the goals, now it's about feeling good, taking a deep breath and putting the ball between the posts. 

"We want to keep on trying to dominate games. We need a little bit of brightness, a spark in the last third and take our chances." 

United have allowed Jesse Lingard, Teden Mengi and Facundo Pellistri to leave on loan during the mid-season transfer window, but Solskjaer revealed there will be no incomings at Old Trafford on deadline day. 

"I can confirm there won't be anyone coming in, so don't stay up late," the Norwegian said, with the window closing late on Monday. 

"We've made decisions we feel have been good for individuals and for us as well, with the young players moving on. Our group is a tight-knit group and we don't have too many players in excess." 

Manchester City extended their lead at the Premier League summit with a 1-0 win over struggling Sheffield United on Saturday. 

Pep Guardiola's side started the day one point ahead of rivals Manchester United, but finished it three ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's outfit after they were held to a disappointing, if record breaking, 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

Newcastle United turned around their woeful recent form with a 2-0 win at Everton, while Aston Villa won away at Southampton. 

Crystal Palace edged past Wolves 1-0 at Selhurst Park, while strugglers West Brom and Fulham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. 

Here is the pick of the Opta facts from the day's action in the Premier League.

Manchester City 1-0 Sheffield United: Guardiola's men keep on winning

An early goal from Gabriel Jesus helped City set a new club record of 12 consecutive wins in all competitions.

It is also the longest winning run by a Premier League team since Arsenal racked up 12 in a row between August and October 2007. 

The slender win was also their ninth triumph in January, the most they have ever won in a single month in their history. Indeed, it is the most wins by a team in the top four tiers of English football in a single month since the formation of the Football League in 1888.

The result also means City have kept 20 clean sheets in all competitions this season, which is at least five more than any other side in the top-five European leagues. 

After their shock midweek win at Manchester United, this was a case of normal service resumed for the rock-bottom Blades. 

They have now lost 20 of their last 24 Premier League matches - seven more than any other side in the same period - and have been on the end of eight 1-0 defeats this season. That is the joint-most ever by a side at this stage (21 games) of a top-flight season, along with Ipswich Town in 1985-86.

Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United: Record-breaking stalemate for United

They did not come away from London with all three points, but United can at least toast an 18th consecutive away match in the Premier League without defeat – their longest run without a loss in their illustrious top-flight history.

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side created the best opportunities, they failed to find the back of the net for a third consecutive league match against Arsenal. The last time they went that long without scoring against the Gunners was between September 1981 and May 1983 when they went four games without a goal.

The result means Solskjaer has now failed to win any of his five Premier League games against Arsenal, with the Norwegian the only Red Devils manager to face the north London side more than once in the top flight without winning a game.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have now kept four consecutive home clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since April 2019.

The draw means Mikel Arteta's side are unbeaten in their past six league games against United – their longest run against the Red Devils in league competition since between October 1980 and May 1983 (also six).

Everton 0-2 Newcastle United: Toffees downed by a familiar foe

Steve Bruce relieved some of the intense pressure he had been under as Newcastle ended an 11-game winless run in all competitions with victory at Goodison Park.

It was no surprise that Callum Wilson was the inspiration behind the win, the England international's brace means he has now been involved in 67 per cent of the Magpies' 21 Premier League goals this season (10 goals, four assists).

His first goal was his 50th in the Premier League, while he has only scored more against West Ham (eight) in the competition than he has versus Everton (six).

The Toffees, meanwhile, have now been defeated in four home league games this season. That is the most Carlo Ancelotti has lost in a single campaign since the 2007-08 campaign with Milan, when he was also beaten four times.

Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson made his 300th Premier League appearance in the defeat to become the second Icelandic player to reach the milestone after Hermann Hreidarsson (332).

Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa: Grealish and Barkley combine to overcome Saints

Villa secured a first win over Southampton in the Premier League since December 2013 thanks to Ross Barkley's first-half goal, laid on by the superb Jack Grealish.

Grealish has now been involved in 15 league goals (six goals, nine assists) in a single season for the first time, eclipsing his tally of last term when he scored eight goals and created six for his team-mates.

Only Harry Kane (11) and Kevin De Bruyne (10) have more assists than Grealish this season, while the last Villa player to register more in a single season in the competition was Ashley Young with 10 in 2010-11.

Dean Smith's side were also indebted to another clean sheet from goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, whose 10th shutout of the campaign is only bettered by City's Ederson (12).

Defeat for Southampton means they have lost three consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since November 2019, while they have also failed to score in five of their past seven Premier League games - they had only drawn a blank in five of their previous 41 in the competition before this.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Manchester United were given more belief in their Premier League ambitions after Saturday's 0-0 draw at Arsenal.

The Red Devils, three days on from a shock home defeat by Sheffield United, failed to take advantage of a weakened Gunners side as their winless run over Mikel Arteta's men stretched to five league games.

Alexandre Lacazette hit the crossbar with a free-kick but Edinson Cavani missed perhaps the best two chances of the match as United made it five consecutive league meetings with so-called big-six sides without scoring a goal.

The draw means Solskjaer's men are three points behind league leaders Manchester City, having played a game more, as their title aspirations took another blow.

Although manager Solskjaer was not interested in discussing their chances of becoming champions for the first time since 2012-13, he insisted his players will take heart from the game at Emirates Stadium.

"We don't think about the title race or the title now, we're in January," he said. "We're just focusing on getting back on the road.

"The disappointment on Wednesday was big, but today gives us more belief again because we feel we dominated and created enough big chances to win the game, [but] you can never control that result. The reaction and the approach to the game was good.

"Of course, you look at every game but you look at the games we played against Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Liverpool, we defend well, we don't really concede many chances. That's one foundation to play from. We need to take our chances and we know we have players to do that – we just haven't done it.

"We just want to keep on working with them on the training ground. Today, with the chances we had, we feel that we should have won it but then you have to score to win. Definitely, that's something I want my forwards to sort out, they've scored so many goals throughout their careers."

Cavani started the contest but could not convert two good chances in the second half that would have handed United all three points, the striker failing to record a shot on target.

"I just look at his movement and his cleverness in his movement and I know exactly how fine margins there are," Solskjaer said.

"You've got to open up your ankle a little bit on the first one as the goal is gaping, and the second one is just hit the ball a touch earlier so you can get your foot around it. That's half a centimetre on your foot and you have to do it so quickly.

"The big thing is that he's there on the end of all the chances, which is something I hope Mason [Greenwood], Anthony [Martial], Marcus [Rashford] look at him and learn from him."

The draw did at least allow United to set a new club record of 18 consecutive away league games without defeat.

"That's a great achievement by these players and the group," Solskjaer said. "They're working hard. When we travel in hotels, the mood is very good, they prepare well.

"It just shows how far we've come as well. Eighteen games is a long, long run and long may it continue. We hope to get some more wins, of course."

While signings before the transfer deadline are unlikely, United on Saturday recalled James Garner and Tahith Chong from loans at Watford and Werder Bremen and sent the youngsters to Nottingham Forest and Club Brugge, respectively.

Solskjaer does not expect any further loan exits, despite speculation Brandon Williams could be sent away for playing time.

"Brandon will stay," he said. "He's been working really hard and we don't have any other players that we think will be going. We need a strong squad; it's a relentless season.

"It's like the NBA: we're on the road again all the time, we need everyone and the group is tight and Brandon has been really good in the last few months, working really hard, and he's ready when the chance comes."

Manchester United set a new club record of 18 away Premier League games unbeaten as they held on for a 0-0 draw at depleted Arsenal on Saturday.

United failed to bounce back from the shock midweek home loss to Sheffield United with a victory, but at least preserved their fine run on the road, breaking a record set by Alex Ferguson's treble winners.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men had the better of the first half but failed to make the most of being in the ascendancy and Arsenal improved significantly after the break.

Alexandre Lacazette went closest for the Gunners when he struck the crossbar with a free-kick and David de Gea denied Emile Smith Rowe, with second-placed United ultimately having to settle for a point against an Arsenal side missing a host of first-team regulars.

Arsenal initially posed the greater threat but the visitors soon began to win the midfield battle, the better chances falling United's way as a result.

Fred's controlled volley in the 20th minute forced Bernd Leno to desperately hurl himself across his line to tip wide, before Aaron Wan-Bissaka headed wide from a brilliant position after meeting Luke Shaw's cross.

Bruno Fernandes then blasted off target after beating David Luiz in the box, and although United subsequently lost Scott McTominay to an apparent stomach issue, they remained in control.

Another Shaw cross fell kindly for Marcus Rashford just before the interval, but the striker did not react quickly enough and Arsenal crowded him out before he could pull the trigger.

Willian was introduced for Gabriel Martinelli at half-time and nearly made an immediate impact, only for Wan-Bissaka to make a crucial block to deny him.

An even better opportunity fell to Edinson Cavani soon after, the Uruguayan somehow shooting wide from close range after Shaw's low delivery, that was a rare moment of second-half respite for United as Arsenal started to dominate.

A Lacazette free-kick just past the hour caused panic for United as it crashed against the crossbar, and De Gea had to be alert soon after to save a stinging Smith Rowe attempt.

Cavani went agonisingly close again late on with an acrobatic attempt and that proved to be the final clear-cut chance in a match devoid of clinical finishing.

Edinson Cavani was given the nod ahead of Anthony Martial for Manchester United's trip to Arsenal, who included new signing Martin Odegaard among their substitutes but were without Bukayo Saka.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men travelled to Emirates Stadium on the back of a shock 2-1 home defeat to struggling Sheffield United in midweek, as they passed up the opportunity to return to the Premier League's summit.

Martial was one of two United players who suffered abhorrent racist abuse on social media after that match, with Axel Tuanzebe the other.

Both took places on the bench this time around, with Cavani chosen ahead of the Frenchman in attack.

Arsenal confirmed earlier on Saturday that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was still absent for personal reasons, while Kieran Tierney remained sidelined with a calf injury.

Cedric Soares continued to deputise at left-back, while Gabriel Martinelli lined up on the left with the in-form Bukayo Saka left out as a precaution due to a sore hip.

Odegaard had a chance to make his Arsenal debut from the bench – the 22-year-old Norwegian having joined the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid this week.

United were aiming to set a new club record of 18 away Premier League matches unbeaten on Saturday, with their last loss on the road coming over a year ago.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared that anybody who sends racist abuse to Manchester United players cannot call themselves fans of the club.

Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were targeted after United's 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday, receiving vile messages on Twitter and Instagram.

What was striking was that many of those directing the abuse professed to be United supporters.

United manager Solskjaer on Friday echoed the club's call for social media giants to step up efforts to clean up their platforms.

But he also addressed those sending the messages.

"It's just incredible that we have these scenes still, or this abuse, still in 2021," said Solskjaer.

"We've been campaigning for a long time now in the Premier League and, to be honest, I think it's working, but there are still some people that haven't got it.

"They hide behind social media, are anonymous and it's unacceptable. It's disgusting.

"They're not Man United fans anyway when this happens. We're standing behind every single one of our players."

Solskjaer was asked about how Tuanzebe, who is just 23 years old, was handling the jolt of being sent overtly racist messages, and said the defender was "fine".

"Obviously it's not nice," Solskjaer added. "He's a strong boy, a strong character; he's got good support from his family.

"We're his family in the club, his team-mates are his family. It's something we don't expect to see now, but you're not really surprised when it happens once in a while because, as we said, there are some people you feel sorry for. That's what you have to do for these individuals."

Captain Harry Maguire said on Thursday that the club "will not tolerate" such behaviour, while United labelled the offenders as "anonymous mindless idiots", calling on social media operators and regulators to clamp down.

Solskjaer, whose team play Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, believes any avenues for sending abuse must be closed off if users are posting with a sense of impunity.

He said: "I think the social media platforms needs to be looked at. If you can create anonymous accounts, abuse people, of course it's not right.

"We'll work together with everyone to stop this nonsense."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Marcos Rojo is set to leave Manchester United, but Jesse Lingard could still have a future at the club despite nearing a loan move to West Ham. 

Argentina international Rojo has played for United since 2014, when he was brought in by Louis van Gaal, but has long been out of the first-team reckoning. 

The last time he managed to reach double figures for Premier League appearances in a single season was 2016-17, when he played 21 times in Jose Mourinho's first campaign in charge. 

But injuries and poor form saw that figure drop to nine in 2017-18 – he then featured just five times in 2018-19 and thrice last term before he was sent to former club Estudiantes on loan. 

His brief stint back in Argentina did not go to plan either as he made a solitary appearance due to injury, while he has not played for United in any competition since returning. 

A social media post from someone purporting to be his personal trainer earlier this week appeared to lift the lid on Rojo's next move, claiming he was set to start training with Boca Juniors. 

And Solskjaer confirmed the defender's exit is almost complete, with Lingard also on the way out. 

"It's likely that Jesse's loan deal with West Ham is going through," Solskjaer said on Friday.

"Likely that Marcos goes back to Argentina, a little bit of paperwork left to be done, I think. Sergio [Romero], I've not heard anything there apart from that he'll be with us for the rest of his contract." 

But while Rojo and Romero are due to leave permanently, there still appears to be a hint of hope for Lingard at Old Trafford. 

The attacking midfielder is a product of United's academy and featured prominently under Van Gaal, Mourinho and – initially – Solskjaer, but he is yet to make a single Premier League appearance for United in 2020-21. 

The England international has seemingly been the player impacted the most by Bruno Fernandes' arrival a year ago, but Solskjaer says there will be a place for him in the squad if he can get himself back on track with high-flying West Ham. 

"We want Jesse to come back here revitalised and having shown at West Ham how good a player he is," Solskjaer said. 

"Of course, he's just been unfortunate with a couple of issues, some periods he had to stay away from us with COVID and isolation and close contact. 

"The rest of the team has done well, we've had little to no injuries and he's not forced his way into the team, unfortunately. 

"I just want him to go there and enjoy himself, show how good a player he is, and come back and show he's a Man United player through and thorough."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Martin Odegaard can cause problems for any team in world football ahead of his possible debut against Manchester United.

Arsenal have signed Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season.

He is building up his fitness and it is yet to be confirmed if he will be able to make his debut when Arsenal host United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Solskjaer, whose team are reeling from their stunning 2-1 home defeat to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United on Wednesday, is clear about his fellow Norwegian's ability.

But he hopes Odegaard will not make his mark on the Premier League right away.

"Martin is a very talented young player," he told reporters as he looks to avoid Arsenal beating United for a third straight top-flight game for what would be the first time since 1998.

"We know from the national team that he can cause anyone problems. 

"Just hope he isn't finding his form on Saturday! We wish him all the best.

"Arsenal have been impressive lately, turned it around. Since the Chelsea game they have got really good results.

"Always great games against Arsenal. Some classics between the two sides."

United are winless in all four Premier League games against Arsenal under Solskjaer, having lost three of those.

He is the only United manager to face Arsenal more than once in the top flight without winning a game.

Solskjaer, though, is optimistic his team will bounce back from the Sheffield United defeat and feels the media reaction to that loss showed a lack of respect to the Blades.

"You never want to lose a game to learn from it and we have been terrific," he said. "But it is that kind of season. We didn't expect to finish it unbeaten, but we wanted to.

"We have always bounced back after defeats. Other than when we played Arsenal and then Istanbul Basaksehir.

"Of course, you analyse the games as you ordinarily do. A lot has been made of it because it was top against bottom but that is the Premier League.

"And I think people show a lack of respect for Sheffield United as well, because they've been unlucky this season and they got what they have deserved so many times earlier. 

"They've got players who can hurt you, they've got an organisation that works with Chris [Wilder].

"We are disappointed, it was a setback. But when you don't hit your level in the Premier League against any opposition you get a tough game and unfortunately we couldn't work it out in the 90 minutes."

Anthony Martial (shoulder) and Eric Bailly (knock) are both expected to travel to London.

While United have struggled in recent meetings with the Gunners, they are unbeaten in 17 Premier League away games.

Opta data shows it is their joint-longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history, tied with the run that started in the treble season of 1998-99. 

Solskjaer's side have won 26 points away from home so far this season, more than any other Premier League side.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed Anthony Martial to find form after Manchester United were stunned by Sheffield United in the Premier League.

Martial has scored just twice in 16 league appearances this season and was unable to have an impact as his side suffered a shock 2-1 loss at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Solskjaer is confident the forward will recapture his best form, but understood questions over the 25-year-old and his team as a whole.

"The whole team will probably get criticism and myself as well. I don't think Anthony's exempt from that," the United manager told a news conference.

"I think we all should be criticised because we didn't perform. I know Anto, he's working really hard in training, working on his finishing, working on his movement. I've got no qualms about that.

"He'll come good."

Martial thought he had cancelled out Kean Bryan's shock opener, but the effort was ruled out for a foul by Harry Maguire on Sheffield goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Maguire headed in an equaliser in the second half, but Oliver Burke found a winner for the visitors, condemning Solskjaer's men to a fourth home defeat in 10 league games this season, their most in a single campaign since 2013-14 (seven).

After his side were left in the second in the table, Solskjaer was disappointed, but also felt decisions went against his team, including for Bryan's opener.

"Of course, we're disappointed, but any result in the Premier League this season shouldn't surprise anyone, but then again, very disappointed that we couldn't put a better performance on," he said.

"It's down to us to put the performance up and we just couldn't find an opening behind or around or between a very compact and good Sheffield United defence.

"The big moments went against us. If you look at it, Billy Sharp's been around the place and knows how to put a goalkeeper off. That's a definite foul on him, so David [de Gea] can't get up. For me, the referee makes a mistake by blowing the whistle on our goal for that corner. That's disappointing but that happens."

Solskjaer's side will aim to bounce back when they visit Arsenal on Saturday.

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