Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Does Ole regret that Newcastle red card?

Thursday 29 July 2021 12:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have scored 126 goals for Manchester United, but one of the moments that endeared him most to Reds fans may surprise younger readers.

That’s because it centred around a red card – the only time Ole was sent off during his 11-year stint as a player in Manchester.

Alex Ferguson’s side were chasing Arsenal at the top of the Premier League in April 1998 and being held 1-1 by Newcastle at Old Trafford, when only three points would do.

With two minutes to go, the Magpies surged forward on the counter-attack through Rob Lee, leaving the Norwegian – only recently introduced from the bench – with no choice but to hack him down to prevent a damaging winning goal for the visitors.

Solskjaer is sent off against Newcastle in April 1998.

It was a cynical foul and an obvious sending off, which later drew the ire of the manager, despite Solskjaer running the length of the pitch and sacrificing his involvement in the game, and future matches, for the team.

Solskjaer revealed that Ferguson thought the foul ran contrary to the way United played and, as a result, he wouldn’t appreciate one of his own players doing something similar.

“Oof. I wouldn’t ask any of my players to do it, because the hairdryer I got after the game, and the reasoning why he gave it to me, is a valid one,” Ole told us as part of his exclusive interview looking back at 25 years since signing.

“With Man United, you don’t want to win that way. It’s not the way we do things. The fans loved it though!”

Ultimately, United’s title challenge faltered and the Gunners went on to win the Double, but that doesn’t mean Ole wouldn’t repeat his decision, if given the chance.

“I’d probably do it again though, because I don’t think I’d want to change anything in my career because I don’t think I’d be sat here now then.

“Whatever little decision you make has a consequence on the next. But… I’d do the same.

“I did it for the right reasons, and that was that I was only thinking about my team-mates and the team.

“We lost the league by one point that season and there were two minutes to go before full-time when we needed to get back up the other end and win the game.”