Sunday 24 March 2019

John Aldridge believes Liverpool could benefit from Paris Saint-Germain's win against Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on February 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on February 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge believes Manchester United's Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain could provide a blueprint for his old club ahead of their trip to Old Trafford next weekend.

The momentum built up by United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as the club's manager in December has propelled them back into the Premier League's top four, but they were well beaten in a fascinating clash against the French champions.

Now Aldridge believes the aura Solskjaer had helped to develop has been shaken by the 2-0 loss against PSG, with Jurgen Klopp's Reds likely to draw inspiration from United's first defeat since their loss against Liverpool at Anfield last December when the two sides meet again.

"If teams go at Liverpool and take them on in a straight battle of attacking football, they tend to come up short and Klopp will hope that's the story when they go to Old Trafford," Aldridge told us.

"We saw that with Manchester City last season, as they were well beaten at Anfield on two occasions and were then forced to change their tactics and play with more caution when they took on Liverpool this season.

"I suspect United won't hold back against Liverpool. They went for it against PSG, which is what a great club should do, but they were shown up a little and Klopp will look at that and fancy his chances.

"The United game at Old Trafford is vital to Liverpool's title hopes and if they win there, they will be right back on track, so Klopp will be hoping for an open game of attacking football and will then back on Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to come out on top against that United defence."

Despite their setback against PSG, Aldridge believes Solskjaer has earned the right to be handed the United job on a permanent basis, as he backed the Norwegian to be named as the club's next permanent manager.

"United should give the job to Solskjaer in my view," added the former Ireland marksman. "He has done a fantastic job of lifting a club that Mourinho dragged to its knees and he deserves a crack at it.

"Solskjaer was very honest when he admitted his side had been given a reality check against a PSG side that have spent millions upon millions to gatecrash the top table of European football and they showed they have real quality with their performances against United.

"Even after that defeat, I still believe Solskjaer has done an incredible job since he took over from Jose Mourinho and deserves a chance to show what he can do over a full season.

"My suspicion all along has been that assistant coach Mike Phelan is having just as big an influence on United as Solskjaer and it wouldn’t surprise me if Alex Ferguson is involved behind the scenes there as well.

"Ferguson and Phelan were a great combination when they worked together at United and that old partnership is back in unison now, with Solskjaer the front man for a management team fit for 2019."

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