Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said this on Friday Manchester United can not afford to look back on a historic humiliation by Liverpool as he tries to establish a positive state of mind ahead of this weekend’s derby against Manchester City. Liverpool recorded their record victory at Old Trafford in a 5-0 battle two weeks ago to get Solskjaer clinging to his job as United boss. The Red Devils responded with a 3-0 win over Tottenham and a 2-2 draw against Atalanta in the Champions League in the middle of the week thanks to the latest in a series of late saves by Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, the defensive weaknesses exposed by the Italians showed United could once again suffer at home against one of their fierce opponents if City reach top form on Saturday.
“We moved on from that one,” Solskjaer said of learning of the Liverpool defeat.
“It’s going to be in the history books, but we’ve had a good week. Good results away from home, tough matches, and the attitude is positive.
“Of course we have to enter this game and believe we can do good things. It’s a local derby and everyone knows what’s at stake.”
Despite a run of just one win in five league games, United have the chance to move level on points with City in the table with a win at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer boasts an excellent record against City boss Pep Guardiola, who won four of the eight events between the two.
It is the best winning rate of any manager to confront the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss at least five times.
“I’m not one to talk about what I did. I have great respect and admiration for what Pep did,” Solskjaer said.
“We have achieved some good results against them in fierce matches.
“We know it’s a one-off match. You have to start on the front foot and start ready.”
United’s defensive problems were not helped by Raphael Varane, who limped with a hamstring injury in Bergamo on Tuesday. The French midfielder stares at the sidelines for a month, while Sweden’s Victor Lindelof also doubts.
“It’s a blow for us, because Raphael came in and was very influential. But we have large groups to deal with sometimes some absentees,” Solskjaer said.
“Victor still doubts, but hopefully he can come back tomorrow. I would expect him to be ready, but I can not promise.”