Comparing Klopp’s start at Liverpool to Solskjaer’s start at Manchester United

Quick Reads

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under a lot of pressure at Manchester United – but how does his start at the club compare to Jurgen Klopp’s first few months at Liverpool?

Klopp has become a fan favourite at Anfield after guiding the club to their sixth European Cup, but just like Solskjaer he also struggled at the beginning.

Therefore, we’ve compared Klopp’s first 29 Premier League games at Liverpool and Solskjaer’s first 29 league games at United to see who comes out on top.

Results

Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho in December 2018 and won 14, drew 7 and lost 8 of his first 29 Premier League games, so he picked up 49 points out of a possible 87.

The Norwegian got off to a flying start as United won 10, drew twice and lost just once in his first 13 league games but they have only won two of their last 13 games.

In comparison, Klopp’s record was slightly worse as he won 13, drew 8 and lost 8 of his first 29 league games so he had 47 points at that stage.

While the German didn’t have an immediate impact like Solskjaer, he gradually turned things around at Anfield. After losing six of his first 16 Liverpool games in the Premier League, Klopp then lost just two of his next 13 league fixtures.

Overall, Solskjaer picked up an average of 0.56 points per game while Klopp had 0.52 points per game but both managers had a win percentage of 48.3%.

Attack

United have scored 45 goals in their 29 Premier League games under Solskjaer. However, a third of those goals came in Solskjaer’s first five games at the club and they have only scored 11 league goals in their last 13 fixtures.

They have also scored three or more goals in a league game on seven different occasions, with their biggest victories coming against Cardiff (5-1) and Chelsea (4-0).

Liverpool were more dangerous in front of goal and scored 54 goals in their first 29 Premier League games plus 30 of those goals came after Klopp’s 17th game in charge.

Klopp’s side scored three or more goals in a league game on eight different occasions, with their biggest victory being a 6-0 win away at Aston Villa.

Defence

Klopp and Solskjaer both inherited a leaky defence from their predecessors and they were originally unable to fix that problem.

Solskjaer’s side have conceded 33 goals in their last 29 league games, averaging 1.1 goals conceded per game, and they also kept seven clean sheets in that time.

Liverpool’s defence was slightly weaker as they conceded 39 goals in Klopp’s first 29 league games, averaging 1.3 goals conceded per game, although they did manage to keep eight clean sheets.

Record v the top six

United played their top six rivals seven times in Solskjaer’s first 29 league games and they had some mixed results.

The Red Devils won two games (Spurs 1-0, Chelsea 4-0), drew three (Liverpool 0-0, Chelsea 1-1, Arsenal 1-1) and lost twice (Arsenal 0-2, Man City 0-2).

Liverpool originally struggled against smaller opposition under Klopp but they did have a better record against the rest of the top six.

They played against their rivals eight times, winning three (Chelsea 3-1, Man City 4-1, Man City 3-0), drawing four (Spurs 0-0, Spurs 1-1, Arsenal 3-3, Chelsea 1-1) and only losing once (Man United 0-1).


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