The Champions League performances saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer land the job at Manchester United, but now they could be what sees him lose it.
The boss is under pressure following United’s 2-1 loss to Swiss side Young Boys, which saw Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane trending on Twitter as Solskjaer continues to underperform in Europe.
Solskjaer has now been in his job at Old Trafford for almost three years and is yet to win a trophy, despite improving in the Premier League with a second place finish last season.
But in Europe, the story is very different, especially in the Champions League.
United lost the Europa League final last season to Spain’s Villarreal side, but were only in their second tier competition after failing to advance to their Champions League group.
Under Solskjaer, United have lost seven of their 11 appearances, which equates to 13% of their total losses in the competition, although Solskjaer is only responsible for 4.8% of their matches.
United have only kept one clean sheet in their 11 Champions League appearances under Solskjaer, with a 5-0 victory over Leipzig last season.
Against the Young Boys, they only managed two shots – the smallest number of football statisticians Opta has ever recorded in their 138 Champions League appearances since the 2003/04 season.
Their second and final shot of the match came in the 25th minute from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Series winners Conte and Zidane, meanwhile, are two of the most prominent managers to have been out of work in recent years, both on extended sabbaticals after leaving Inter and Real Madrid respectively.
Solskjaer was initially given the post on an interim basis in December 2018 following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.
The Norwegian put United on an impressive streak of 10 wins and a draw in their opening 11 matches in all competitions, before PSG come to town in the Champions League round of 16 and inflict a 2 loss. -0 at Old Trafford.
No team in the history of the competition has ever progressed after losing a two-goal first leg, but United returned to Parc des Princes, with a brace from Romelu Lukaku and one stoppage from Marcus Rashford ensuring an astonishing 3-1 victory.
Solskjaer got the job permanently after the historic comeback, but the results in Europe fell short of expectations.
The 48-year-old has also been heavily supported by the club’s hierarchy, with successful purchases of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane this summer.
And talkSPORT host Jason Cundy has suggested the writing could be on the wall for Solskjaer despite United’s promising Premier League debut.
“I would fire him,” he said after the loss, “he said.” We know what’s coming, don’t we? You have Antonio Conte there … “
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