Manchester City’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield was thrilling. There’s no other way to describe it. For Manchester United fans, it was a stark reminder of the quality gap that exists between us and the top of the Premier League.
Manchester City twice come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw against Liverpool in a breathtaking game at Anfield 🙌
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2021
Mohammed Salah was indomitable and the quality of the football was sensational from start to finish. Liverpool and City are setting the bar in the Premier League, now contrast that to what we saw between United and Everton on Saturday.
🗣 "You have got to manage the players' workload, and the decision was for me, the correct one today."
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 2, 2021
This is the greatest challenge Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has faced so far in his time as United manager.
We’re the plucky underdog again, a position Ole has generally thrived in at United – backs against the wall, no expectations, gifted with an ability to surprise from a lesser place. But, it’s different this time, the context and circumstances have changed following the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.
You just can’t deny the gulf in quality when you watch Liverpool go toe-to-toe with City; fizzing passes, snapping tackles, constant movement and yet, despite the whirring pace of the game, complete defensive shape and discipline at all times. Contrast that with what happened at Old Trafford:
This blows my mind. You’d be fuming if your kids U9s team defended like this in training, let alone Manchester United. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/WmimC7c292
— United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) October 2, 2021
I’m fully in support of Solskjaer succeeding as United boss. It’d be incredible if he could find that success but I am not blindsided by my loyalty to him as a United legend, a man who carved some of my favourite memories of United in my childhood.
He simply has to close this gap which is seemingly only growing larger despite the investment in our team and ultimately that comes down to his coaching and our success on the pitch. We all know we’re Moments FC right now, incredible in patches but incredibly patchy overall.
That narrative has to be shifted because if it doesn’t, the pressure on Solskjaer will manifest itself to something which will inevitably see him sacked as United manager. That, I can’t deny and that is why this period right now is the greatest challenge Ole has faced so far.
We either genuinely start to close that gap on City and Liverpool or United will task another manager with doing the same because there are no excuses following the summer we had for the gap to be growing larger.