Man Utd hero can boast the best red card in club history

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will always be a legend at Manchester United for his goalscoring exploits. However, the Norwegian frontman is also assured of a place in club history for its greatest red card ever.

Solskjaer’s tenure as manager at Old Trafford may not have been a roaring success, but the man himself could not have dreamt of a more successful playing career at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ when he joined the club from Molde for £2.5 million in July 1996.

Over the next 11 seasons, Solskjaer would win no less than 12 trophies with the Red Devils, scoring 126 goals in 366 appearances.

The most famous of those goals, of course, came in the 1999 Champions League final when Solskjaer scored the winning goal deep into injury-time at Camp Nou against Bayern Munich to complete a miraculous 2-1 comeback victory for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.

While that crazy night was, undoubtedly, the pinnacle of his United career, Solskjaer played with unbridled passion and commitment whenever he pulled on the iconic red jersey.

Perhaps the best example of his commendable attitude came when United hosted Newcastle in the Premier League towards the end of the 1997/98 season.

Solskjaer celebrates scoring winner in Champions League final
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 26: Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates at the end of the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou on May 26, 1999 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive)

United were locked in a thrilling battle for the title with Arsenal at the time – and every point was crucial.

With the score level at 1-1 entering the final minutes of the match, United threw men forward in search of a winner and the much-needed three points that would come with it.

Inevitably, though, that strategy left the home side massively short at the back and meant that Newcastle midfielder Rob Lee had a free though run on goal when he managed to break clear late on.

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The former England international looked certain to go on and win the match for the Magpies, but Solskjaer simply wasn’t having it.

With the rest of his United colleagues toiling, the ‘baby-faced assassin’ produced a lung-busting run in pursuit of Lee and was ultimately able to hack his opponent down just outside the penalty area.

It was a straight red card all day long and referee Uriah Rennie wasted no time in giving Solskjaer his marching orders.

Solskjaer training with Man Utd in 1998
27 Oct 1998: Ole Solksjaer of Manchester United during training at The Cliff in Manchester, England. Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey /Allsport

However, the sheer determination shown by the United man to get back a save a goal for his side earned him a standing ovation from all four corners of Old Trafford as he left the field.

David Beckham even gave Solskjaer a pat on the head in acknowledgment of his commitment to the cause.

You can check out Solksjaer’s epic effort below.

Video: Solskjaer sacrifices himself to keep Man United in the game v Newcastle in 1998

Although pretty much everyone associated with the club was appreciative of the intentions behind Solskjaer’s decision, United boss Sir Alex was not amongst them.

During an appearance on the High Performance Podcast, Solskjaer admitted that the fiery Scotsman had been fuming with him after the match.

“When I say a fair way I’ve had one sending off and I was so told off by the gaffer [Sir Alex Ferguson], he absolutely slaughtered me in the dressing room, two weeks’ wages fine, against Newcastle.

“I learned a lesson then… that that’s not the way we want to win at Manchester United, we don’t do it that way.”

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