When Man United suffered their first loss under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against French giants PSG at Old Trafford in the first leg of their round of 16 clash in mid February, the players and coaches to a man were really gutted.
The players knew they had not done themselves justice by losing 2-0 to Thomas Tuchel’s much more refined and clinical PSG side on the night. To make matters worse for OGS, two thirds of his preferred attacking threesome in Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard were ruled out for a few weeks with injuries picked up in the loss to PSG.
United knew they had a mountain to climb to have a chance of reaching the 1/4 finals of the Champions League but when they faced PSG in the 2nd leg of their Champions League tie in Paris on March 6th, Lukaku scored in the first 2 minutes then PSG equalised before Lukaku put United 2-1 up again.
Then as OGS had said as long as they were in the game in the last 15 minutes miracles can happen and when United were awarded a 94th minute penalty by VAR Marcus Rashford stepped up and slotted it past the legendary Buffon in the PSG goal as United went through to the 1/4 finals on the away goals rule. The win was even more impressive considering they had to put it on the back burner as they had 4 domestic games before it plus they played Fred, Scott McTominay, Andreas Perreira while giving debuts to Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood.
Firstly United travelled to Chelsea to play the Blues at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup round of 16 as OGS had his side produce a superb performance where man of the moment Paul Pogba set up Ander Herrera for the 1st goal and then Pogba himself added the 2nd goal right before half-time. Prior to that game United were much less fancied than Chelsea and naturally Manchester City.
Yes, an FA Cup Final win will be most welcome to OGS as it is a competition he covets which is refreshing in this day and age of managers focusing solely on survival in the Premier League. Following their stunning FA Cup victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, United’s odds shortened and they are the 7/2 second-favourites with Bet365 and while if you like the underdog a punt on Wolves can be had at the appealing odds of 54/5 with Matchbook and let’s not forget that Wolves not only knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup but they have also drawn and beaten Chelsea in the League, Nuno’s team have also beaten Everton and Tottenham away in the League as well as drawing with Man United, Everton and Arsenal.
While if you genuinely enjoy a punt on a team with longer odds that do have a decent chance of winning, a flutter on Wolves to win the FA Cup could be the way to go as some top bookies are letting you get your free bet today at excellent odds of 54/5 which hopefully might cover any losses you could have incurred if Wolves can win vs United and you are prepared to bet against the team you support if you are a Red-Devils supporter.
Back with the FA Cup, favourites Man City with odds of 4/5 are not a very attractive bet so money will likely be going on Man United at the more appealing odds of 7/2 to win the Cup.
When it comes to the top 4 before the results of last weekend in the Premier League, the odds for a United finish in the Top 4 had tumbled to evens, and they were as low as 10/11 with Betway and Chelsea had drifted to 5/4 and Arsenal to 3/1 with Bet365.
Following United’s 0-2 away loss to Arsenal and Chelsea’s 1-1 tie with Wolves (assuming Liverpool and Man City finish in the top 2 places), Tottenham Hotspur are favourites for 3rd place at odds of 4/6 followed by Arsenal at odds of 5/6 with Chelsea next at 6/5 and Ole’s Manchester United now drifting out to odds of 6/4.
While United travel to Molineux to face the seemingly ever improving and impressive Wolves team in the FA Cup 1/4 finals, Chelsea will play Everton away on Sunday looking to build a 2 point lead over the Red-Devils; Arsenal will not play as they were due to face Wolves who will obviously be busy facing United in the FA Cup; and finally Tottenham Hotspur will not play Crystal Palace who are otherwise engaged in the FA Cup vs Watford on Saturday.
So as things stand only 4 points separate Tottenham in 3rd, Arsenal in 4th, Man United in 5th and Chelsea in 6th but the Blues do have a game in hand. United definitely have the most difficult run-in as they have to face Wolves twice (once in FA Cup), Watford, Everton, West Ham, Chelsea, Man City, Huddersfield and Cardiff.
If OGS can secure a top 4 finish and/or win the FA Cup or Champions League then the full-time role at Manchester United must be his. Surely OGS has shown a dynamic sharp football brain in the games against different sides since he took over almost 3 months ago to demonstrate that backed up by United coaching legend Mike Phelan (long-time number 2 to SAF) plus Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick he is more often than not making the correct decisive decisions, making timely substitutions or adapting specific plans for different sides on the fly and having his decisions affect things positively.
Solskjaer has shown any doubters that he is ready and crucially has the players playing for him. Old Trafford is a positive place to be right now and the core of the team is only just starting to hit their prime now like Rashford, Martial, Lingard, Lukaku, Lindelof and Shaw plus they have the best goal keeper in the game and Fred is only now getting his chance to finally . It really should be acknowledged that he should get the full-time job at Old Trafford even if they do not win a trophy or finish in the top 4.