London, United Kingdom, Jun 26 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said it would be tough for Liverpool to match Manchester United’s era of sustained dominance under Alex Ferguson as Jurgen Klopp’s team celebrated winning the Premier League.
Liverpool were crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years without kicking a ball on Thursday after Chelsea beat Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool’s 19th title triumph, which sparked wild celebrations around their Anfield home ground, left them just one behind United’s record haul of 20.
But United boss Solskjaer said matching United’s run of 13 league titles in 21 seasons under Scottish manager Ferguson would be difficult.
Ferguson won his first Premier League title in 1993, ending a 26-year wait for United to be crowned English champions.
“The run of titles that we won under Sir Alex, I don’t think that’s going to be easy for anyone to emulate and to copy,” said Solskjaer, who won six Premier League titles as a player under the Scot.
“Sir Alex was a master of staying at the top so, for me, our challenge is to make sure we don’t go, say, 26 years until the next time we win it or even more.
“We’re going to do everything we can to shorten the distance or maybe even go past them of course.”
– Congratulations –
Solskjaer, however, congratulated Liverpool on their achievement.
“First of all, any team that wins the championship and a Premier League deserves it and they deserve credit,” he said.
“It’s a hard league to win, so well done to Jurgen (Klopp) and his players.
“For me, every time you see anyone else lift the trophy it hurts. I reckon that’s the feeling everyone associated with Man United — all players, staff and supporters.
“Of course we want to get back to winning ways and that’s our challenge.”
Solskjaer is hoping FA Cup glory can be a springboard for further success, with United heading to Norwich on Saturday in the quarter-finals.
United are fifth in the Premier League, still in the race for a Champions League spot, and are well-placed to reach the last eight of the Europa League.
“I think first of all the FA Cup is a fantastic tournament, and a fantastic final to play a part in, a fantastic trophy to lift,” said Solskjaer.
“For our team, it’s a new team and to get our hands on a first trophy and win a first title would be fantastic and hopefully a catalyst for more things to come.”
Solskjaer plans to rotate his squad at Carrow Road, where Jesse Lingard will feature, having yet to play a minute since the restart.
“Jesse has come back after the lockdown with a smile on his face, loads of energy,” he said.
“Unfortunately, last week he fell ill for a couple of days but we’ve done all the tests and he’s fine, so he’ll be involved against Norwich now and hopefully he can kick on.”