Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Manchester United v Chelsea in 2003

Ole's head-to-head record against Lampard

Sunday’s match against Chelsea will allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and new Blues boss Frank Lampard to go head-to-head as managers for the first time.

It’s Lampard’s maiden competitive game in charge of the Blues, for whom he made 648 appearances as a player, scoring a club-record 211 goals.

However, the fixture at Old Trafford won’t be the first time Ole and Frank – who started his career with West Ham United – have gone up against each other in English football.

Here’s the story of the rivalry, told through the five victories Solskjaer racked up in 11 games against the former England midfielder.

United 4-1 West Ham, 10 January 1999

This match, a thumping win at Old Trafford during United’s Treble-winning season, marked the second time Ole and Lampard had come up against each other, after a 1-1 draw in Manchester 10 months previously. The Reds were ruthless on this occasion, with an early strike from Dwight Yorke and an Andy Cole brace securing the three points long before the Norwegian’s late introduction off the bench. Within three minutes, the substitute had added a fourth and Lampard’s late consolation came too late to quieten the buoyant home crowd.

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Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrate against West Ham
The 4-1 win against West Ham in January 1999 was the only time Solskjaer and Lampard scored in the same game.

United 7-1 West Ham, 1 April 2000

The Reds were closing in on a 13th league title when eighth-placed West Ham came to visit in the spring of 2000. United, seven points ahead of rivals Leeds United, were given an early scare when Paulo Wanchope fired the Hammers into an 11th-minute lead, but goals from Paul Scholes, Denis Irwin – a rebound from a rare penalty miss – and Cole, helped us go in 3-1 to the good at half-time. Scholes completed his first United hat-trick early in the second-half, via a delightful heel-flick finish and another spot-kick, before David Beckham rifled in a free-kick for the sixth. After being blown away by a rampant United, Lampard and West Ham must have dreaded seeing our number 20 coming on – and sure enough, Ole completed the scoring from close range.

United 3-1 West Ham, 1 January 2001

After a hectic festive schedule, Solskjaer started this New Year’s Day fixture and opened the scoring, driving beyond Shaka Hislop to give the Reds a third-minute lead. An own goal by Stuart Pearce doubled our advantage, before Yorke made it comfortable in the second half. Frederic Kanoute scored for the Hammers, but Lampard, who played the full 90 minutes once again, admitted his side were distinctly second best: “United were a class above us tonight. Their passing was top gear and that was difficult to live with,“ he admitted after the game. Just four weeks later, though, the Romford-born midfielder would experience his first taste of success at Old Trafford; Paolo Di Canio’s goal giving the Londoners a shock 1-0 win in the FA Cup fourth round.

Chelsea 0-3 United, 20 April 2002

United’s first trip to Stamford Bridge after Lampard joined Chelsea for £11 million in June 2001 resulted in a resounding victory for the Reds, at a time when we were chasing Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table. A poor start to the season – which included a 3-0 reverse against Claudio Ranieri’s Blues at Old Trafford – ultimately rendered our post-Christmas surge fruitless, but this memorable win in SW6 would prove to be our last happy outing at the ground in the league for over a decade. Solskjaer and Lampard both started the match, with the Norwegian capping off the scoring late on after goals from Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates scoring against West Ham
Ole celebrates scoring the opener against West Ham on New Year's Day in 2001.

United 2-1 Chelsea, 18 January 2003

This was our third meeting with Chelsea in the 2002/03 season. An exciting 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in August featured both players, but Solskjaer was absent for the League Cup clash at Old Trafford in December, as Sir Alex Ferguson opted to shuffle his pack and give Diego Forlan – who would score the only goal of the game – a start. A month later, the Uruguayan would again prove pivotal, smashing the ball home in injury-time to give the Reds a vital win on the way to regaining our Premier League title. Scholes had earlier cancelled out Eidur Gudjohnsen’s opener but, for a long time, it looked like being one of those days for United, with the Norwegian hitting the woodwork in the second half prior to Forlan’s late show.

Ole’s bad luck with injuries – he made just 24 appearances over the next three seasons – meant he only featured against Lampard and Chelsea on two more occasions, as the Blues went from strength to strength under the ownership of Roman Abramovich. A 1-1 draw in Manchester in May 2004 saw Ranieri’s men finish above United in the Premier League for the first time, while Solskjaer’s final match as a professional came in our 1-0 defeat to the Londoners in the 2007 FA Cup final at Wembley, when he came on in the closing stages.

OLE’S FULL RECORD AS A PLAYER AGAINST FRANK LAMPARD

  • Played: 11
  • Wins: 5
  • Draws: 3
  • Defeats: 3
  • United goals: 23 (4 for Solskjaer)
  • Opposition goals: 13 (1 for Lampard)
  • Minutes on pitch together: 367

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