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Solskjaer’s Greatest Moments: Red card vs Newcastle

Nice natured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was once on the receiving end of a red card after committing an intentional foul on Newcastle’s Robert Lee.

As he walked towards the tunnel at Old Trafford, David Beckham ran over to give him a pat on the back. Solskjaer shrugged, “I had to do it,” he said.

Before that match, United had been top of the league for 6 months, but now, towards the end of April, we were losing our grip on the title. There were three matches remaining after this match and it was must win.

So what was Solskjaer thinking about??

United went a goal behind after eleven minutes before David Beckham levelled the score with his head before half time. 1-1 wasn’t good enough and United needed a win if they were going to fight off Arsenal to win the league. This team had lost to Arsenal just a week ago so we needed to ensure the same result.

Solskjaer was brought on with ten minutes to go, like usual, to try and win us the match. However, it wasn’t his attempts in front of the Newcastle goal that helped us that day.

With a couple of minutes left to play, United were determined to get that all important winning goal, and threw all their men forward. Beckham played a ball in to the box which was cleared faster than anticipated.

Rob Lee bombed after the ball, which would see him one on one with goalkeeper Raimond Van der Gouw and certainly confirming defeat and a titleless season.

Solskjaer caught up with Lee, swiping his leg out at the Newcastle player, tripping him, knowing he wouldn’t get his foot to the ball in time to stop a goal being scored.

He sacrificed himself for the sake of the team, which sums up his character entirely. Manchester United always came first to him.

Solskjaer walked off the field that day to a standing ovation of rapturous applause… and not for the last time either!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Miguel says:

    People go here and vote for our boy Giggsy:

  2. mancman says:

    Hardly one of our finest sporting moments, we should be ashamed

  3. fei awale says:

    great article. i remember it like it was yesterday.We love you 20 LEGEND. thanks for the memories

  4. Messiah says:

    What a fucking God, I love him, such, such a legend. We need more players like him.

  5. Davies says:

    I know it’s wrong to applaud a player for a deliberate foul, especially when it was at such a vital point for the opposing team, but you have to admire Solskjaer for putting the team first and for the way in which he managed to catch Rob Lee.

    I was furious at the time, being a Newcastle supporter, but there’s no denying that Solskjaer saved Manchester United’s bacon and proved once again that he has been a hugely important player for his team.

    I wish we had some players like him. We’d be a lot nearer to Man U than we are now.

  6. Wiggsman says:

    Mancman – what shite you talking about: Oli did what he had to do for the team and paid the penalty. Of course its not the best sporting gesture, but in the days where players have no heart, this showed Oli as a true Manc Devil and not a dirty fuck like Ian Wright, Michael Brown, Stevie Gee or Essien!

    20 Legend

  7. Ubibi Godwin Jr says:

    The baby face assasin deserve a satue in O.T,he has been a faithful servant and he was faithful to the end,rarely I have seen a player applauded for getting a red card,he paid the ultimate sacrifice.He is a legend…

  8. Stephen says:

    Mancman, once you have found the cure for AIDS and deposed Mugabe, could I have your lottery numbers oh great one?

  9. B&W says:

    Mancman is spot on.Deliberate fouling should NEVER be the way to win.If you can’t do it legit,take it like a man and lose with grace.The fact that so many “fans” have been on and said it was a great and honourable thing that he did emphasise what complete donkeys they are tbh.Win at ANY cost ain’t the way to truly win. Dive for a penalty + win = good for you lot?Pfffft.

  10. Anant says:

    ^^^^ @ stephen – do you do stand up comedy mate ?….that was bloody brilliant!

  11. Kings says:

    An absolute legend. On a more different note – Scott the Red, see the President of Seville has blasted Spurs for making comments about our so called tapping up of Berbatov. His words: ‘Spurs are Hypocricy personified’.

  12. Wiggsman says:

    B&W I dont see anybody here saying it was an honourable thing to have done – but plenty saying it wasnt the most sporting gesture, but given what we know about the guy it was an incredible thing to have done….oh and the fact he is a legend. Come on get off your morale highhorse….i bet even you have knocked one out over your best friends wife!

  13. Red77 says:

    I think some of the people who have criticized Ole’s decision are missing the point. Yes, it was a deliberate foul. It was a professional foul. It is well within the rules of the game to foul someone if it prevents a goal — but it comes at a cost. And Ole was more then willing to accept the responsibility for his action. That’s why he’s a LEGEND. That’s why the crowd applauded his action. He didn’t think about the repercussion, he thought only about what was necessary at the time to ensure the team didn’t lose. Ole’s the type of soldier who throws himself over the grenade to save the brigade. That’s why he’ll be regarded forever as a HERO.

    Had he elbowed Lee or kicked him in the head I would have agreed that it wasn’t honorable, but the man tracked him back over 70 yards and in the end swiped his feet from under him when it was clear there would have been no way to prevent him from taking the shot. It was an act of desperation from a man who isn’t paid to put in a tackle. To equate that to a dive which is blatant cheating is simply bonkers.

    Plus, someone who dives expects to get away with it. Diving = Cheating. A professional foul is a gamesmanship, which is within the spirit of the game – especially when it’s played at the highest level.

    20Legend Forever!

  14. Nickshellbers says:

    Red77. One hundred per cent correct. At last a voice of reason. Ole knew the outcome (red card) and walked before the ref even got it out. It’s called a professional foul because its a part of the game, something that at times is necessary. There’s no such thing as a professional dive.


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