‘Club legend’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Manchester United caretaker manager

In this Saturday, March 29, 2014 file photo, Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds fans after the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City at Hawthorns Stadium in West Bromwich, England. (AP)
Updated 19 December 2018
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‘Club legend’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named Manchester United caretaker manager

LONDON: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on Wednesday named as Manchester United's caretaker manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
The former United striker will take charge of the first team with immediate effect and will remain in place while the club looks for a new full-time manager.
Mourinho was axed on Tuesday after just two-and-half years in charge at Old Trafford, with the 20-times English champions languishing in sixth place in the Premier League, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool.
Solskjaer, 45, will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, working alongside Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.
"Manchester United is in my heart and it's brilliant to be coming back in this role," said the Norwegian. "I'm really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club,"
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: "Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles.
"His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back. We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season."
United appeared to accidently announce the appointment on their website on Tuesday, with a video posted on the club's official website celebrating Solskjaer.
A video of him scoring the winner for United in their 1999 Champions League final triumph against Bayern Munich was accompanied with the headline 'The most famous night of Ole's career'.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg also appeared to confirm Solskjaer's appointment on Twitter.
On Wednesday she tweeted: "FINALLY CONFIRMED! Great day for Norwegian football. Good luck keeping control of the Red Devils, @olegs26_ole."
Solskjaer joined United as a player from Molde in 1996 and was part of Alex Ferguson's team that won the treble of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in 1998/99.
He scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007 and in 2008 he became the club's reserve-team manager, before taking the managerial role at Molde in Norway.
The Norwegian's first game in charge of Manchester United will be Saturday's trip to former club Cardiff.
Solskjaer managed the Bluebirds between January 2014 and September 2014, failing to stop them being relegated from the Premier League, returning to Molde in 2015.
Speaking moments before Solskjaer's appointment was made official, former United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen warned it would be a huge job for the Norwegian.
"It would be a good choice in terms of the fact that they want to bring back some of the spirit that was at United in the time of Sir Alex Ferguson, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a big part of that," he told Sky Sports News.
"In that respect I can understand they were looking for a candidate who can live up to those expectations.
"If they do decide for Ole and Ole decides to accept then again it is a big ask for everybody. But I think in the short term it would be a good choice to make."
Molde have confirmed that Solskjaer will return to the club in May, with chief executive officer Oystein Neerland saying they are happy to "lend" their coach to United.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane are among the bookmakers' favourites to take the United job on a full-time basis at the end of the season.


Finch, Starc shine as Australia beat Sri Lanka in World Cup

Updated 15 June 2019
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Finch, Starc shine as Australia beat Sri Lanka in World Cup

  • Defending champions record their fourth win of tournament at the Oval encounter

LONDON: Australia captain Aaron Finch and pace bowler Mitchell Starc stole the show as the holders eased to an 87-run win over Sri Lanka at the Oval on Saturday.

Finch equalled his career-best one-day international score with a masterful 153 and Steve Smith chipped in with 73 as Australia scored 334-7.

Needing a World Cup record run-chase to claim a shock win, Sri Lanka got off to a flying start thanks to a first-wicket partnership of 115 between captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera.

But Perera departed for 52 and when Karunaratne fell on 97 the game swung back in Australia’s direction.

Starc was the catalyst with a fiery spell of three wickets in six balls, Australia eventually dismissing Sri Lanka for 247 thanks in large part to his 4-55 from 10 overs.

Kane Williamson added three wickets of his own as Australia made it four wins from their five group matches after previously beating Afghanistan, the West Indies and Pakistan.

Their lone defeat in the 10-team tournament came against India and their latest victory puts them well on course for a semifinal berth.

Sri Lanka, who lost their last seven wickets for 42 runs, have only one win from their five matches, a disappointing run that includes two washouts.

They face a struggle to reach the semifinals with only four matches left, a spell that features encounters with title contenders England and India.

Sri Lanka had briefly looked capable of surpassing the World Cup chase set by Ireland, who made 329-7 to beat England in 2011.

Karunaratne and his opening partner Perera blasted 24 from the first two overs and reached their fifty partnership in just the seventh over.

But Starc bowled Perera and Jason Behrendorff dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne for 16 as Australia hit back.

A six from Kusal Mendis in the 31st over signalled Sri Lanka’s intent to get cracking.

But crucially Karunaratne stumbled short of his maiden World Cup century when he carelessly flicked Richardson to Glenn Maxwell at backward point.

That left Sri Lanka 186-3 and set the stage for Starc to turn the screw by dismissing Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera and Mendis in quick succession.

Mendis’s mistimed drive off Starc reduced Sri Lanka to 222-7 and shattered their resistance.

Earlier, Finch took the Sri Lanka attack apart with a dazzling display that included 15 fours and five sixes.

He was well-supported by Smith’s 73 from 59 balls and the pair put on 173 runs for the third wicket.

Together with opening partner David Warner, Finch took the attack to the Sri Lankans after being put in to bat under cloudy skies in south London.

The pair passed 50 for the opening wicket for the fourth time in five games at the World Cup.

Sri Lanka had no answer to Finch’s brutal assault and by the time he departed, caught by Karunaratne off Isuru Udana, he had put Australia in a commanding position.

Maxwell’s quick-fire 46 from 25 balls rubbed salt into Sri Lanka’s wounds.