Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under no illusions about the “tremendous” challenge Liverpool will pose in Sunday’s Premier League blockbuster as he admits his side has fallen behind their rivals in recent years.
The two giants face off at Old Trafford in a clash which even at this early stage could hold huge implications in the 2021-22 title race.
And Solskjaer admits that it will not be easy to take down Jurgen Klopp’s charges, who have been in fine form so far this term.
What was said?
“It’s a massive rivalry because of the history of the two clubs. The amount of titles and trophies these two clubs have won and the history between us, the two cities and the football clubs,” the Norwegian told reporters ahead of the encounter.
“It’s a rivalry that you have to take up and hold your hand up and say that they are a very good club, a very good team.
“You have to make sure that you are better than them. The last four years they have been tremendous. We’re chasing them. We’ve chased the last four years and the results, we’ve been behind them.
“Now we’ve taken steps but the next step is to, again, be above them because we were above them last season.
“But that’s history and hopefully this season we can achieve something better.”
‘No time to lose’
Solskjaer is nevertheless confident that despite some mixed recent results, the future is bright for his team.
“I expect us to improve in the next couple of months, definitely,” he added.
“Of course Cristiano (Ronaldo) has been here for a month, Jadon’s (Sancho) been here for two months. Marcus (Rashford) is just coming back, Edinson (Cavani) had a long run up to when he could join us, so I expect us to improve, definitely.
“It is exciting to have these types of players to work with and it is about finding the balance between width, how big we’re going to make the pitch, how Edinson and Cristiano, two of the best box players in world football. Then you’ve got exciting wingers, goalscorers and I’m sure we will improve.
“We have lost some points lately that we are not happy with but we are in the situation we are in and we have to take it from here and really get going.
“There is no time to lose because even though it is a long season the teams we are competing against are not going to give us too many options to catch them.”
United currently sit sixth in the Premier League standings after losing two and drawing one of their last three outings, while Liverpool are four points ahead and could move back in front of Manchester City into second with victory over their rivals.