Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took training at Manchester United on Tuesday as the under-pressure manager looked set to avoid losing his job for now.

A 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool on Sunday was the lowest point of the Norwegian's time in charge, with a third loss of the Premier League season leaving United eight points behind early leaders Chelsea.

His first-team squad reassembled at the club's Carrington training base two days on from that debacle, with Solskjaer still at the helm. He reportedly arrived early in the morning to put his players through their paces.

Senior United officials are said to have held a meeting on Monday, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward joined by managing director Richard Arnold and co-chairman Joel Glazer.

United have repeatedly backed the Norwegian, who took over from Jose Mourinho in December 2018, initially as an interim appointment. They consider the former United striker an ideal figurehead, and Solskjaer remains a popular figure among supporters, even with those who want a change of manager.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Solskjaer still retains the support of Woodward, Arnold and United's influential former manager Alex Ferguson, with Joel Glazer set to have the final say. Similarly, The Telegraph said Solskjaer has been given three games to show he should be retained.

United would be wary of removing Solskjaer if there is no suitable candidate available to replace the 48-year-old, and early signs point to him likely remaining in charge for the Premier League clash with Tottenham on Saturday. That is followed by games against Atalanta and Manchester City.

Former Chelsea, Inter, Juventus and Italy boss Antonio Conte has been linked as a possible successor and is said to be open to the idea; however, Zinedine Zidane would not be interested in the job, according to reports in Spain, where he had two spells in charge of Real Madrid.

Solskjaer's disappointment after the Old Trafford defeat was plain, as he said: "I have never felt any worse than this. This is the lowest I have been. I accept the responsibility. That is mine today and it is mine going forward.

"I do believe in myself and I am getting close to what we want at the club. The results lately haven't been good enough. Hands up. Next week is Tottenham away. Then Atalanta. Then Man City. We have to go into this with the right frame of mind."

In July, Solskjaer signed a new three-year contract at United, and the club backed him as Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane joined during the transfer window.

He has an average points-per-game record of 1.83, which is the third highest in United's Premier League history. In that respect he only trails his predecessor Mourinho (1.89) and the long-serving Ferguson (2.16).

Solskjaer has a 51.89 per cent win record from his 106 Premier League games in charge of the Red Devils to date.

Jorginho is dreaming of winning the World Cup with Italy while he played down the potential of him winning the Ballon d'Or.

The Chelsea midfielder enjoyed glory for club and country after winning the Champions League with Thomas Tuchel's men and Euro 2020 with Italy, becoming just the 10th player to achieve the double in the same year.

His performances across the two competitions led him to be named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year in August as the award's top three was comprised exclusively of midfielders for the first time in 11 years.

Indeed, at the European Championships across June and July, Jorginho topped Italy's charts for recoveries (48) and interceptions (25) while only Spain's Aymeric Laporte (644) made more successful passes than the 29-year-old's 484.

With the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in his sights, Jorginho described winning the tournament as his lifelong ambition while remaining unsure on who would claim the Ballon d'Or.

"I don't know honestly. If you don't dream anymore you can stop playing football," Jorginho responded to Sky Sport Italia when asked about the individual award.

"My dream is to win the next match. Then I dream of the World Cup, who is the child who has never dreamed of it?

"I never imagined I would get this far, but I dreamed and all I've done is to chase my dream, now I'm living it and I'm proud.

"I am happy to give my family pride. And another dream could come true in the winter of 2022."

The midfielder has enjoyed another positive start to the new Premier League term with Chelsea, who sit a point clear at the top of the league after nine games.

Jorginho ranks sixth for minutes played under Tuchel in the top flight this term, racking up 559 minutes of action, and ranks fourth for successful passes (363) as he remains the Blues' pivot between attack and defence.

When asked about his club form, Jorginho replied: "We are on the right path, we are working hard, and we must continue like this.

"The more you work together, the more you understand what you need to do, learning new movements and creating an increasingly winning mentality.

"All this gives you solidity, confidence and makes you grow as a group. And that's what's happening at Chelsea."

Liverpool assistant head coach Pep Lijnders has described Liverpool's attackers as being "like raptors from Jurassic Park" after the 5-0 hammering of Manchester United.

The Reds have been potent this season, their tally of 41 goals in all competitions bettered only by Bayern Munich (60) among teams from Europe's top five leagues.

Mohamed Salah has been responsible for 15 of those goals, making him the second-highest goalscorer among Europe's elite this season behind Robert Lewandowski (17).

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have six each, while, and Diogo Jota – who scored against United on Sunday – has four to his name.

Each of Liverpool's forwards have been in fantastic form and Lijnders puts that down to Jurgen Klopp's men going back to basics.

"I think it has to do with the way we are playing," he said during a news conference on Tuesday previewing the midweek EFL Cup last-16 tie with Preston North End. 

"It's the whole package that means our front players get into good positions. The front three look like raptors in Jurassic Park! 

"We haven't changed anything. Sometimes improving is going back to basics. Players needed a break after a few intense and emotional seasons."

With his hat-trick at Old Trafford, Salah has now scored in a club-record 10 successive matches for Liverpool in all competitions.

The Egypt international, who surpassed Didier Drogba (104) as the highest-scoring African in Premier League history with 106 goals, is expected to be rested against Preston.

Takumi Minamino scored twice and Divock Origi was on target as Liverpool swept aside Norwich City 3-0 in the last round and both players are in line to start again at Deepdale on Wednesday.

"We are used to making changes," Lijnders said. "We have to do things the right way by training and recovering correctly. 

"That's what I like about us – we prepare at the same level no matter who the opponent. We have to show our fans that same hunger and desire.

"Origi is the top scorer in this competition. He is a world-class finisher and is looking sharp, as is Minamino. Last season went to show that we need all of our players.

"They all have to show the right mentality and be ready. They have to stay patient and keep training hard."

Lijnders confirmed James Milner will miss Liverpool's next four matches ahead of the international break with a hamstring injury sustained in the win at Old Trafford.

Naby Keita also came off in that game following a strong challenge from Paul Pogba, who was shown a red card, but Liverpool's assistant was able to provide a more positive update on the midfielder.

"Naby has a bruise in this moment, which we are assessing day by day," Lijnders said.

"Thankfully his leg wasn't planted, but it's still a painful one. It's looking good. Fabinho will also be monitored daily and may return next weekend."

Liverpool travel to Preston aiming to keep alive their good record against lower-league opposition in the EFL Cup, having progressed from 16 of their past 17 such ties.

"Our priority is to put on a good display," Lijnders added. "That is the case from the start of the season until the end.

"Our game needs freshness and we want the opponents to feel our attack. The only way we will be able to properly press is to rotate.

"We are taking it game by game and are hoping to maintain our consistency."

Liverpool must stay grounded on the back of their "historical" 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United, according to forward Diogo Jota.

The Reds recorded their biggest ever margin of victory against fierce rivals United at Old Trafford thanks to a Mohamed Salah hat-trick and goals from Naby Keita and Jota.

It marked the first time United have lost by five or more goals without scoring since February 1955, when they suffered a 5-0 loss to Manchester City, while only once before – a 7-1 victory at Anfield in October 1895 – have Liverpool won by more goals in this fixture.

Jota, who played a key part in the victory with a tap-in and an assist for the second of Salah's goals, admitted not even he expected Liverpool to dismantle their opponents with such ease.

"It's hard to dream [about such a win], which is a good thing, to be honest," he told Liverpool's official website. "We always expect a tight game, at least in terms of the result, but I think we were outstanding, especially until 2-0.

"Sometimes things just happen naturally. I think we were of course on our toes, everyone was searching for the space and I think in the end with the two goals coming soon, that helps as well. We were very dangerous and we did a fantastic game.

"In the first 15 minutes we were almost perfect. After that, we conceded a little bit counter-attacks and started losing the ball, but in the end it's a historical result and one for the fans to remember for a while.

"It's historical but we as players, we can't think over our heads. I think it's important that we keep our feet on the floor. It's just three more points; there is a long way to go."

Liverpool were four goals up by half-time and added a fifth five minutes into the second half, with Salah's hat-trick strike followed by a red card for United midfielder Paul Pogba.

Jurgen Klopp's side have scored 19 goals in their opening five Premier League away matches this term, a tally that has been bettered by only Manchester City (20 in 2011-12) and United (20 in 1907-08) in English top-flight history at this stage.

Jota was just as pleased with the clean sheet kept by his side at Old Trafford – Liverpool's sixth of the campaign, a joint-league high alongside Manchester City and Chelsea, the latter of whom have a one-point lead at the summit.

"A clean sheet is always important because if you do that it allows for you just to score one goal and win the game," he said. "I think that's what we need to fight for because with the quality that we have up front, if we keep that clean sheet then I'm pretty sure we will win the game."

Salah extended his club-record run of scoring to 10 straight games in all competitions and has now netted 106 times in the Premier League, seeing the Egypt forward surpass Didier Drogba (104) as the top African goalscorer in the competition's history.

Jota added: "It is one of those times when every time he touches the ball it seems to end in the back of the net! That is unbelievable for us and I hope that can continue for a while."

Former Rangers and Scotland manager Walter Smith has died at the age of 73.

Smith holds legendary status at Ibrox, having won 21 trophies during two spells as boss of the Scottish champions.

He also masterminded the Glasgow giants' run to the UEFA Cup final in 2008 and managed his country from 2004 to 2007.

Smith was also in charge at Everton for almost four years and spent time as Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United.

Rangers chairman Douglas Park said in a statement on Tuesday: "On behalf of the Rangers board of directors, staff and players, I convey my deep condolences to the Smith family. Walter leaves behind a wife, children and grandchildren, all of whom are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

"It is almost impossible to encapsulate what Walter meant to every one of us at Rangers. He embodied everything that a Ranger should be. His character and leadership was second to none, and will live long in the memory of everyone he worked with during his two terms as first team manager.

"I spoke with Walter as recently as last weekend. Even when he was battling illness, he was still able to provide advice and support. For that, I am personally grateful. I know that he continued also to maintain dialogue with senior members of staff, including our manager, Steven Gerrard.

"Walter will be sorely missed by all of us at Rangers.

"Winning 10 top-flight titles as manager, five Scottish Cups and six League Cups, as well as leading his club to the UEFA Cup final in 2008, he will be remembered by the football community across the world. His spells as Scotland manager as well as managing in the English Premier League underlined his credentials as one of the great modern day football managers.

"However, for Rangers supporters, he was much more than just a football manager. Walter was a friend to many, a leader, an ambassador and most of all -a legend."

Former Rangers manager Mark Warburton expressed his sorrow, writing on Twitter: "Devastating news to hear of the sad passing of Walter Smith. A man who was always on hand to help with advice and support. My thoughts and condolences are with his family at this most difficult time."

Manchester City had a relatively quiet off-season in the transfer market.

City landed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in a big-money move but failed in their efforts to sign Tottenham star Harry Kane following Sergio Aguero's exit.

But the Premier League champions could be more active in the January transfer window.

 

TOP STORY – CITY PLAN FOR DE JONG SWOOP

Manchester City are plotting a move for Barcelona star midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to Calciomercato.

De Jong, who also has interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, signed a five-year deal with Barcelona effective from July 2019, tying him down to 2024.

The 24-year-old Netherlands international has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season and is yet to score.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano claims Manchester United have made no official proposal for former Chelsea and Inter boss Antonio Conte yet amid doubts over the future of Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following Sunday's 5-0 rout at the hands of Liverpool. Zinedine Zidane and Ajax's Erik ten Hag are also possible options.

- Manchester United's wantaway Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek is preparing to make a January move with Voetbal International claiming he has swapped agents. EvertonNewcastle United and Juventus are all interested in Van de Beek, per Metro.

Paris Saint-Germain will switch their attention to Bayern midfielder Corentin Tolisso if they cannot secure a move for Manchester United's Paul Pogba, reports Calciomercato. Pogba has also been linked with Juve and Real Madrid.

Newcastle and Juve are contending to sign Barca forward Ousmane Dembele, according to Sport. Dembele is set to exit Barca at the end of this season and his agent has reportedly been in touch with both clubs about a move, while Liverpool and United are also possible destinations.

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken his game to the next level and "prefers" this version of the striker.

After a poor campaign by his standards in 2020-21, Gunners captain Aubameyang is the club's top scorer in the Premier League with four goals from eight appearances, but his manager has been equally as impressed with the 32-year-old's improved all-round game.

The Gabon forward ranks second at the club for possession won in the final third in the Premier League (four) behind only Emile Smith Rowe (nine).

Aubameyang has also outperformed his expected goals (xG) value of 3.08, suggesting his finishing has been above the standard that would be expected from the chances he has been presented with.

He ranks fifth in Arsenal's squad for chances created (eight), providing one assist from those opportunities. 

Arteta feels that Aubameyang is giving off an energy that he has never done before and is becoming a more complete player in the process.

"I have never seen Auba transmit what he is doing now," Arteta told Arsenal's official website ahead of Tuesday's EFL Cup tie with fellow Premier League side Leeds United, against whom Aubameyang netted a hat-trick last season.

"Apart from the goals, the celebration when they put the ball in the net, do you see the way he runs, the purpose he has to press the ball, and when he takes it his movement, his link, how is leading the game - that is when he is changing the rest, not when he is static and then he puts the ball in the net. I prefer this Auba.

"It is clicking. It is a combination of realising that his role has to go well beyond [scoring]. What was good, or very good, two or three years ago, with his role in this team, at this club, it is not enough. He had to take a step forward."

Arteta explained that both Aubameyang and fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette have a responsibility to lead a young squad on and off the field.

"I would say the same with Laca, look what he is transmitting, not just doing or playing, what he is transmitting," Arteta continued. "For me, that is really, really important.

"They lead by example and not only there but as well at the training ground. Certain things, a role they could have had three years ago in the squad, now it has changed.

"The group's age is a little bit closer [together] so they are experiencing most of the same things and they talk a lot about it. Then we have the senior players that they have to lead and they have to take that role, and they are doing that in a different way.

"There are players now that on that pitch that they are able to transmit something and change certain behaviours and attitudes in other players. That is contagious, and for me that is leadership."

Lacazette has played a bit-part role so far this season but was handed his first league start of the campaign as Arsenal beat Aston Villa 3-1, producing an impressive display despite not getting on the scoresheet himself.

Following a complaint about the unveiling of a banner by Crystal Palace supporters in their Premier League clash with Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, police assessed the concerns and have confirmed that they will be taking no further action.

The banner criticised the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test in light of the recent takeover of the Tyneside club by a Saudi consortium.

A large sheet depicted caricatures including a man in traditional Arab dress holding a sword covered in blood, a mock-checklist of the Owners' and Directors' Test, a bag of money and the letters "P.I.F" written on the man's clothes.

The banner also showed a magpie, seemingly representing Newcastle, whose nickname is the Magpies.

A member of the public made a complaint to police following the game, with a statement from Croydon MPS saying "On Saturday 23 October police received a report of an offensive banner displayed by Crystal Palace fans. Officers are assessing the information and carrying out enquiries. Any allegations of racist abuse will be taken very seriously."

However, Croydon MPS confirmed on Monday that, following an assessment, they would be taking no further action. 

The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with a spectacular Callum Wilson overhead kick cancelling out Christian Benteke's opener for the home side.

Newcastle are currently searching for a new manager following the recent departure of Steve Bruce.

Sunday must have felt like a horror film for Manchester United fans as their team endured perhaps their most humiliating defeat of the Premier League era.

Still, ghoulish goings-on are not uncommon for the Red Devils during the month of October.

Elsewhere, Chelsea's demolition of Norwich City came largely thanks to their English contingent and the in-form Ben Chilwell, who is on the kind of goalscoring run that struggling Spurs could really use.

Read on for more of the stranger Opta facts to emerge from the Premier League weekend...

 

United's Oktober(goal)fest

Plenty of fans would think there must be something spooky going on at Old Trafford if the manager is not under threat of losing his job after the biggest loss to Liverpool in 126 years.

If the Glazers do indeed continue to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, perhaps it's because they have embraced as the norm United's history of some truly terrifying results during the Hallowe'en season.

The debacle against Liverpool was the fifth time United have lost a Premier League game by a margin of five goals. All of those matches have come in October: 5-0 defeats to Newcastle United (1996) and Chelsea (1999), the 6-1 thrashing by Manchester City in 2011, and last season's 6-1 loss to Tottenham.

Given their next two league games are against Spurs and City, Solskjaer must wonder whether he will still be in a nightmare after October 31.

Four England!

Battering another team 7-0 is a decent opportunity to rack up some goalscoring stats, which is exactly what Chelsea did against Norwich City.

While Mason Mount took the plaudits for his hat-trick, he was one of four English players to score in the game, the others being Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Ben Chilwell. Never before have the Blues had so many Englishman find the net for them in a single Premier League match. Indeed, the last side to do so (excluding own goals) was Bournemouth against Hull City in October 2016.

Chilwell has now scored in four league games in a row for Chelsea, having only managed two goals in his previous 26 appearances in the competition. The previous English player to score in as many consecutive matches for the club was Frank Lampard in February 2013.

If that form continues, the left-back will match Lampard's club-record 177 Premier League goals for Chelsea at some point in the 2026-27 season...

Royal rumble

Watford's 5-2 win at Everton on Saturday was... well, it was just a bit weird, wasn't it? After all, it made Watford the first Premier League team to concede five and then score five the next week since 2018, while no side in the competition's history had ever trailed by two or more goals after 75 minutes and won by a margin of at least three.

Emmanuel Dennis, a 64th-minute substitute, was directly involved in three of Watford's goals, scoring one and assisting two. That's the same return managed all season by Raul Jimenez, Jarrod Bowen and £100million man Jack Grealish. Indeed, only Paul Pogba, Gabriel Jesus, Jamie Vardy, Michail Antonio and Mohamed Salah have had more direct goal involvements than Dennis (six) in 2021-22.

And what a regal performance it was for former Toffee Joshua King. A visiting hat-trick would be a tough one to swallow for the Goodison Park faithful at the best of times, but King scored as many goals on Saturday as he attempted shots for Everton in his 11 league appearances for them.

Fifteen minutes of infamy

Paul Pogba became the first United player since Luke Chadwick in December 2000, also against Liverpool, to be sent off in a Premier League game after coming on as a substitute.

The red card changed the game only inasmuch as it prompted Jurgen Klopp's men to take pity on their opponents – only five of their 19 shots overall came in that final half-hour.

Between his introduction at half-time and his dismissal 15 minutes later, Pogba certainly tried to make an impact on more than just the shin of Naby Keita. He completed eight passes in Liverpool territory, more than half the number Cristiano Ronaldo managed in the whole game, while also losing possession five times (one of which led to the fifth goal). Scale those numbers up for a full 90 minutes, and Pogba would have ended the game with 56 opposition-half passes, by far the most of any United player, but he would have lost the ball 35 times. Only once this season has a Premier League player lost possession more often in a single match: that was Matt Lowton for Burnley against Norwich City (37 times).

Pogba, dropped from the starting line-up against Liverpool and Atalanta after proclaiming something had to change following the Leicester City defeat, presumably wanted to make a point to his manager in his time on the pitch. You'd imagine this wasn't it.

Kane unable

Tottenham didn't manage a single shot in the second half of their 1-0 loss to West Ham. That shouldn't come as a great surprise given they have only attempted 94 all season, the lowest tally in the division apart from Norwich (89).

At their current rate, Spurs will finish 2021-22 with roughly 302 attempted shots, which would represent their worst such return for a single season since... well, last season (443). In seven of the past 12 Premier League campaigns, they have managed at least double that number.

It's not all about Harry Kane, of course, but the England striker's numbers are a good yardstick. His average of 0.26 non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes in 2021-22 is his lowest rate ever in a Premier League season, and his 2021-22 tally stands at one goal in 648 minutes across eight league appearances.

Luke Shaw admitted there is something "going wrong" at Manchester United following their 5-0 home Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side suffered the biggest defeat to their fierce rivals since 1895 as they lost a league match at Old Trafford by five or more goals without scoring for the first time in 66 years.

Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and two goals from Mohamed Salah meant United trailed by four goals at half-time of a Premier League game for the first time, before Liverpool's Egyptian star  completed his hat-trick in the second period – the first treble scored by a visiting player at Old Trafford since Ronaldo for Real Madrid in 2003.

Paul Pogba was sent off just 15 minutes after being introduced as a substitute to compound a truly miserable day for United fans, some of whom booed their side off at half-time and did not stay for the second period.

Solskjaer described it as his "darkest day" as United manager and there is now significant pressure on the shoulders of the Norwegian, who has overseen five defeats and just three wins in their most recent nine matches.

Shaw, United's players' player of the year last season, is one of several players to have endured a poor run of form and the England left-back believes now is the time for everyone at the club to reflect and take action.

 "We are extremely disappointed, it is not good enough, and it hurts a lot," he told MUTV. "I think football is obviously a team sport, we are in it together and we are all together. But I think, as individuals, we need to take responsibility for some of the actions tonight.

"Personally, that is of course why I am here, I am not hiding inside. I know I was not at my best tonight, I know I was not good enough, and of course, I will take some responsibility for that. 

"It is something that we shouldn't allow. We are at one of the best clubs in the world, one of the biggest clubs in the world, playing at our home stadium in front of all these fans. It shouldn't happen. 

"We should be much better in these games and especially in key moments. We had a big chance in the first minute or so. If that goes in, maybe we could be looking at a different game, but that is not to blame anyone. I am not here to blame individuals. It is a team game.

"I just want to thank the fans because 5-0 down is never easy for them and, of course, it is not easy for us, but they stuck with us, they carried on singing and they could have easily left the stadium. We would have totally understood that with the way we performed and the scoreline, but they stuck with us, they kept on singing and we really appreciate that. I can only apologise for the performance.

"I know we can better, I know we have to be better. I think it is not just us as players. The whole club needs to have a look at ourselves to see what went wrong and what is going wrong. We need to reflect on that and we need to do something about it.

"It is not good enough for the standards this club sets. We should be challenging for leagues and for trophies. We haven't been doing that for a while now. It is not what this club expects. We all want to be doing that but with performances like that, there is no way we can be doing that. We have to be honest, we have to be honest with ourselves in the changing room, speak about it."

Shaw felt the Liverpool defeat had been on the cards given the standards of United's recent performances, saying his side have become far too easy to play against.

"It's ourselves we need to look at first and foremost in the mirror. Are we doing everything right and preparing right for the games in ourselves?" he said to Stadium Astro.

"We have the tactics and how the manager wants us to play. At times, we're too easy to play through against. You look at the first goal, it can't be possible that they can have three running through in the first five minutes. We need to be more compact, we need to be better.

"This result was coming. In past games where we've won, we haven't been at our best. We felt that inside the dressing room and today we have to reflect and we have to move on from this because it hurts.

"I think we all know when we're at our best we're capable of playing well. It's not just a team, it's individuals who are not at their best. Me, myself, I'm not. I need to look at myself, see what I'm doing wrong and focus on that.

"At times in the game, we're far too easy to play through against, not just today but it's been a number of games now where it's been happening bit by bit and we can feel that in each game. 

"It happened today and, against a great team like Liverpool, they're going to punish us and they did."

What does the future hold for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?

His position as Manchester United manager is becoming more uncertain after an embarrassing loss to Liverpool.

A former Premier League-winning boss, Antonio Conte, is believed to be waiting in the wings.

 

TOP STORY – CONTE EYEING UNITED ROLE?

The Manchester United job would be a priority for Antonio Conte should the Red Devils part with embattled manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to Sportitalia journalist Gianluigi Longari.

Solskjaer is facing fierce criticism following Sunday's humiliating 5-0 defeat to Premier League rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Former Inter and Chelsea boss Conte has been linked with Newcastle United following talk of a pre-season move to Tottenham, while the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain's Mauricio Pochettino could reportedly be considered for the United role.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is in talks with Manchester City, Tottenham and Juventus, per Gianluca Di Marzio. The Germany international is available on a free transfer at season's end amid reported interest from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Marcelo wants to leave Madrid for Fluminense in 2022, claims El Nacional. Marcelo is out of contract at the end of the season.

- El Nacional says Barcelona have decided to sell United States international Sergino Dest. The 20-year-old has struggled for form at Camp Nou and he has been linked with Bayern.

Inter and Juve both identified Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic and Sampdoria's Mikkel Damsgaard, per Calciomercato. Vlahovic has also been linked with City, Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal.

- Calciomercato claims Serie A high-flyers Milan are eyeing Brest midfielder Romain Faivre.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo said Manchester United fans "deserve better" after Sunday's humiliating 5-0 rout at the hands of Premier League rivals Liverpool.

It was a day to forget for Ronaldo and United, who were embarrassed by Liverpool at Old Trafford, where the Red Devils trailed by four goals at half-time for the first time in a Premier League fixture before substitute Paul Pogba was sent off.

Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick as United lost by a margin of five or more goals at home without scoring themselves for the first time since a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in 1955.

United have only lost by a larger margin against Liverpool in October 1895 when the Reds beat them 7-1 at Anfield, while it was the largest margin of defeat in this fixture when playing on home soil.

Ronaldo, who was frustrated throughout, used social media to react to the miserable outing in Manchester.

"Sometimes the result is not the one we fight for. Sometimes the score is not the one we want," five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo wrote via Instagram.

"And this is on us, only on us, because there’s no one else to blame.

"Our fans were, once again, amazing in their constant support. They deserve better than this, much better, and it's up to us to deliver.

"The time is now!"

Sunday was only the second time in 617 top-flight league appearances Ronaldo ended on the losing side by five-plus goals in a match, with the other defeat a 5-0 loss as a Real Madrid player against Barcelona in November 2010.

United are seventh in the standings, seven points behind second-placed Liverpool and eight adrift of leaders Chelsea through nine rounds.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said "the last thing I want to be is in Solskjaer's shoes" as he showed sympathy for his Manchester United counterpart following Sunday's 5-0 Premier League humbling at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United endured a dark day in Manchester, where the embattled Red Devils were embarrassed as Liverpool ran riot on enemy turf.

Mohamed Salah became the first Premier League player to score an away hat-trick against United, while Naby Keita and Diogo Jota were also on target for Liverpool – who led 4-0 at half-time before Paul Pogba came off the bench and was sent off within 15 minutes to add to the hosts' misery.

United have only lost by a larger margin against Liverpool in October 1895 when the Reds beat them 7-1 at Anfield, while it was their largest margin of defeat in this fixture when playing at home as pressure mounts on under-fire boss Solskjaer.

"Oh yeah, of course," Klopp told reporters when asked if he had sympathy for Solskjaer as Liverpool moved within a point of leaders Chelsea and United dropped to seventh and eight points off the pace.

"I said it before, the last thing I want to be is in his shoes in that moment, but that's just how it is.

"In these moments when you lose a game, when you lose a derby especially, it happened to me as well, you don't want to go out there in the mixed zone and give all the interviews and answer all these questions. So, for sure, it's not a nice night, so yes of course [I have sympathy]."

Liverpool became only the second team in English top-flight history to win consecutive away games by a margin of five-plus goals without conceding themselves, after United in February-March 1960.

Klopp's Liverpool have scored 19 goals in their first five away matches in the Premier League this season. In English top-flight history only two sides have scored more after five away games – Manchester City in 2011-12 (20) and United in 1907-08 (20).

On whether the result represented one of the greatest days of his career, Klopp – a Champions League, Premier League and Bundesliga winner – added: "I didn't think about it, yet. It's a good day, a really good day and I don't want to be disrespectful. I have no idea, but it's a big one. We know that.

"Obviously after the game I got told that never happened in the long history of Liverpool Football Club; this group always wanted to write their own little chapters for the big, big history book of this club.

"This one was a little one tonight, a little chapter. People will talk about it in the future, 100 per cent, because it will not happen very often, if it happens again at all. We saw the game as well and we know we were lucky in two or three situations where United could have scored in the first half. I think they should have scored the first one, but that doesn't make our performance [any less], that’s just how it is.

"In front of the goal, in the last third, we were exceptional. We were clinical, we were ruthless, our high press was outstanding, we really won balls in great areas, the formation was top and all these kind of things you want to see as a coach, worked out really great.

"The difference is now that you usually don't score with each situation you have pretty much, but that's what we did and why we were 4-0 up at half-time.

"Second half, early 5-0 and the red card, game over, so then just control it and try to get home healthy. I am not 100 per cent sure that worked out, well it didn't work out obviously because Millie [James Milner] is injured and Naby as well. We have to see how serious it is, it is very painful, so we will see. We will only know tomorrow or the day after tomorrow."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he retains the backing of the board and believes he is "close" to getting the club where they want to be despite a demoralising 5-0 defeat to rivals Liverpool.

Mohamed Salah became the first Premier League player to score an away hat-trick at Old Trafford after setting Naby Keita up for the opener, with Diogo Jota making it 2-0 inside 13 minutes as United slumped to their heaviest-ever home defeat in this fixture.

United have lost three and drawn one of their last four Premier League fixtures, slipping to seventh in the table – eight points behind league leaders Chelsea after nine games.

However, Solskjaer remains confident in his position and in his ability to bring glory back to United, but accepted responsibility for the result.

"I have heard nothing else [other than having the backing of the board]," Solskjaer said in a news conference. "I am still thinking about tomorrow’s work. Of course, they are all low.

"I have never felt any worse than this. This is the lowest I have been. I accept the responsibility. That is mine today and it is mine going forward.

"It is the worst feeling. The feeling that we are getting to where we want to be has been there. Last few weeks we have hit a brick wall. We have conceded too many easy goals. That is a concern. This is the lowest I have been. I accept the responsibility. That is mine today.

"I do believe in myself and I am getting close to what we want at the club. The results lately haven't been good enough. Hands up. Next week is Tottenham away. Then Atalanta. Then Man City. We have to go into this with the right frame of mind.

"The time is now. United have had difficult times before and we have always bounced back. We have started this season badly. We have hit a brick wall. We need to start building results – and get clean sheets.

"I am sad, disappointed, angry of course. My emotion doesn't matter apart from what do we do to improve and make sure it doesn't happen [again]. This could go either way, we could sulk or we could come together."

Leaky defence Solskjaer's downfall?

Solskjaer has the second-worst goals against per game ratio of any head coach to have taken charge of United in the Premier League.

In 106 league games under the Norwegian, the Red Devils have shipped 120 goals – an average of 1.13 per match.

Only under David Moyes (1.18 per game) was United's defence more porous, with no other manager averaging a goal conceded per game or more.

Solskjaer's points per game stands at 1.83, with his United recording 55 wins, 29 draws and 22 defeats. 

United's goal difference in the league under Solskjaer does stand at 71, which ranks third in the division since he took over in December 2018. However, that is some way behind the totals of Liverpool (134) and City (168).

Solskjaer has also overseen two of United's five heaviest defeats in the Premier League, Sunday's game (which was United's joint-worst home loss in terms of the margin of defeat) and last season's 6-1 loss to Tottenham.

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