Man Utd vs Man City: the statistics behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s record of wins over Pep Guardiola | Football news


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains behind the wheel, nearly two weeks after his 5-0 defeat to Liverpool which he described as his “darkest day” at the wheel. Manchester United responded with a comfortable win at Tottenham and a fought point at Atalanta. But another key game arrives on Saturday.

This weekend they face Manchester City, live Sky Sports, and another heavy home defeat to a rival would be a blow Solskjaer may not recover from.

The good news for United is that Pep Guardiola is not afraid of his manager. Solskjaer has a record of victories over the Spaniard, winning four and losing only three of eight fights. In fact, Solskjaer is the only coach to have faced Guardiola at least four times and to have more wins than losses.

Solskjaer’s 50 percent win rate against Guardiola puts him in the position of a modern management royalty.

Best win% against Pep Guardiola (min.4 matches)

Manager Matches against Guardiola wins Win%
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 8th 4th 50%
Antonio Conte 4th 2 50%
Luis Enrique 4th 2 50%
Jürgen Klopp 22 9 41%

How Solskjaer was able to defeat Pep again

Keeping Manchester City out will surely be the starting point for Solskjaer, who responded to a 5-0 defeat to Liverpool by moving to a three-man defense at Tottenham. It was the first time he had played that system in defense in 57 league games since beating City 2-0 in March 2020.

United have won their last three league games without conceding goals when they used three in defense, taking only five shots on goal.

In the last two Premier League games with a four-man defense – defeats to Leicester and Liverpool – they have faced 19.

Man Utd with a three-man defense – last three PL results

Date opponent Result Shots on goal from the front
October 2021 Tottenham V 3-0 0
March 2020 Man City V 2-0 4th
February 2020 Chelsea V 2-0 1

The bad news here is that United are potentially short of two center backs.

Raphael Varane was sidelined for a month, while Victor Lindelof did not play against Atalanta due to a small blow.

Eric Bailly did well in Italy, though, and when United beat City last March, Luke Shaw was one of those three full-backs. So they proved they could make the system work, regardless of the staff.

City’s fights in attack against United

Since the start of 2020, City have scored 151 league goals, but none against rivals Manchester. United have kept clean sheets in all three league fixtures since January 2020 and in four of five fixtures across all competitions.

Manchester City Premier League goals from early 2020 (against teams that have finished in the top 8 in the last 2 seasons)

opponent Goals scored
Liverpool 11
arsenal 10
wolves 7th
Chelsea 6th
Leicester 6th
West Ham 5
Tottenham 3
Man Utd 0

Simply put, City have struggled in recent matches to bring down United.

Solskjaer generally let City have the ball and tried to hurt him on the break. It is a tactic used by many teams, but in which Solskjaer’s United have been extraordinarily good.

The more possession City had, the more they fought. Since the start of 2019/20, they have lost all four derbies with over 60% ball possession. They have remained undefeated in the three games in which they have had 60 percent possession or less.

Man City record against Man Utd since the beginning of 2019/20

Games won Drawn down Lost Marked
Over 60% owned 4th 0 0 4th 1
60% ownership or less 3 2 1 0 5

It’s not hard to imagine United will try something similar this weekend. They went toe-to-toe with Liverpool with dire consequences, then called seven defenders in their XI and won at Tottenham.

Grealish key to unlock United defense?

If Solskjaer follows this plan and allows City to have the ball, someone will have to open that massed defense.

Kevin De Bruyne’s form has been a concern this season – he has yet to see a goal for City in the league. This could be Jack Grealish’s moment.

Eleven of Grealish’s 13 starter games for City have been on the left flank. He started as part of a midfield three in the opening weekend defeat to Tottenham, and Guardiola used him unproductively as a false nine against Liverpool – Grealish recorded just 29 touches at Anfield, his fewest in any Premier League match. as owner since January 2016.

The numbers suggest that Grealish is starting to assert himself from that left winger position. In his last five games as a starter – all in the Premier League and Champions League – Grealish has created more chances every 90 minutes.

The quality of these chances is improving, according to his record of expected assists, and his characteristic ball transport is becoming more productive.

Jack Grealish on the left wing – 11 starts (all races)

The first 6 departures All statistics from 90 Load 5 starts
2.9 Possibilities created 4.2
0.27 xA (expected assists) 0.4
1.2 Successful dribbling 1.8
1.2 Door that ends in the created case 3
27 Go to the final 3rd 33

Grealish has two goals and three assists for City. Not a bad start, but the £ 100 million man has been Aston Villa’s talisman for years and will return to do so for City.

A great performance in his first Manchester derby will put him on the right track, but Solskjaer has shown in his legendary career at United that he can keep City at bay and that he doesn’t give up easily.

Manchester derby podcast: Man Utd’s back injury problems | Should he win for Manchester City? | Great match prediction

Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports football reporters Richard Morgan and Ben Grounds to discuss the massive Saturday lunchtime showdown between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford.

PART 1 | How are the two rivals preparing for the big clash? We assess how Man Utd’s injury concerns in defense might affect their approach, as we ask whether Jack Grealish lives up to his high price tag and the reasons behind defending champions’ inconsistent form. Is this match now a must-see win for them as Chelsea are moving away from the top of the Premier League?

PART 2 | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a winning record against Pep Guardiola, so what’s the secret of his success in this rivalry? And how will the fight go on Saturday? Let’s make our predictions for the big games!

Like watching the Manchester derby on Sky Sport

Manchester United host Manchester City in their first derby of the season on Saturday and you can catch all the action live on Sky Sports.

Manchester United vs Manchester City will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30; kick off at 12.30.

Sky Sports customers can watch game clips in our live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app.

Free match highlights will also be posted on Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel before 2:45 pm on Saturday.


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