This Week in Football History: Solskjaer sets a record off the bench

"And Solksjaer has won it!!"
"And Solksjaer has won it!!"
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the personification of a super-sub. Whenever Fergie needed a goal he would turn to his baby-faced Norwegian poacher and, on February 6, 1999, during a thrashing of Nottingham Forest, Solskjaer came off the bench to set an incredible record in just 12 minutes. Adrian North revisits the moment.

"Manchester United didn’t lose a game in any competition after Christmas during the 98/99 season and in the middle of this mother of all purple patches they set the record for the Premier League’s biggest away win and Solskjaer scored four goals as a substitute in United’s 8-1 win over a hapless Ron Atkinson’s Nottingham Forest."

February 6, 1999 - Nottingham Forest 1-8 Man Utd, City Ground: Solskjaer sets a record.


1998/99 belonged to one club - Manchester United. The class of 92 and the rest of Fergie's boys "reached the promised land" on May 26 and their run towards League, FA Cup and Champions League glory is littered with moments that even the most bitter Liverpool fans admire.

The 3-3 v Barcelona, the Roy Keane-inspired comeback against Juventus, Ryan Giggs' run against Arsenal, winning the league on the last day, and the exploits of the baby-faced assassin - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

And while Solskjaer's right toe will be worshiped until the end of time by all those from the red half of Manchester, the Norwegian's most impressive goal-scoring feat came on February 6, 1999.

Manchester United didn't lose a game in any competition after Christmas during the 98/99 season and in the middle of this mother of all purple patches they set the record for the Premier League's biggest away win and Solskjaer scored four goals as a substitute in United's 8-1 win over a hapless Ron Atkinson's Nottingham Forest.

Long before Big Ron became the clueless, at times racist, TV personality that today's generation know him as he was making himself look like an arse as manager of Forest for the last four months of the 98/99 season. And despite Pierre van Hooijdonk claiming Forest might as well have been managed by Rowan Atkinson, and Ron himself sitting in the wrong dugout during his first home game, Atkinson's most idiotic moment was describing Forest's 8-1 loss at home to United as a "nine-goal thriller for the fans".

Atkinson's fall from grace was only to be amplified by a 12-minute goal spree from United's super-sub Solskjaer who, having replaced Dwight Yorke in the 72nd minute, would score in the 80th, 88th, 90th, and 92nd minutes. One third of his league goals for that entire season in a 12-minute blitz.

Forest finished bottom of the table and Atkinson's managerial days were over. Alex Ferguson, who had taken over the head role at United from Atkinson 13 years previously would go on to lift three trophies and have the word 'Sir' added to his name all before the summer of 99'.

But this story belongs to Solskjaer, and it's a fitting sentiment that the Norwegian, who made his career off of scoring from the bench, holds the Premier League record for most goals in a game by a substitute.

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