The Red Devils officially announced Solskjaer's exit just hours ago, though reports of the Norwegian's exit have been doing the rounds for the last few hours. Manchester United suffered a chastening 4-1 defeat against struggling Watford yesterday (November 20).
It was the club's fifth defeat in seven league matches, leaving them seventh in the Premier League standings, 12 points adrift of leaders Chelsea. Solskjaer's reign at the helm of the Red Devils was already in doubt after massive defeats to Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City. The Watford defeat proved to be the final straw that broke the camel's back.
The club hierarchy continued to back him despite reports of a divided dressing room. Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News has now revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo requested his teammates to remain professional. Ronaldo's comments came after Manchester United's 2-0 home reverse against rivals Manchester City. He wrote:
"Ronaldo had quickly concluded United would not succeed as long as Solskjaer was manager, but implored his teammates to remain professional and respect Solskjaer."
"Remarkably, Solskjaer was allowed to continue to manage a dressing room that had become unmanageable. The majority of players liked Solskjaer, but had long since concluded he was no longer up to the job."
Cristiano Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes reportedly pressurised Manchester United to take action on Solskjaer immediately after the loss to Manchester City. Mendes was given assurances that action would be taken, but that wasn't to be the case until last night's humbling defeat at Watford.
Solskjaer's reign at Manchester United ends as Cristiano Ronaldo and co slump to defeat at Watford
Many believed taking on Watford would provide Manchester United an ideal platform to find some form ahead of key clashes with Villarreal and Chelsea. However, The Hornets were all over Cristiano Ronaldo and co from the very first minute.
Claudio Ranieri's side could have easily scored four goals in the first half. If not for Ismaila Sarr's two horrendous penalty misses (one was a retake), Watford would have been out of sight much earlier. Manchester United went into the break lucky to be just 2-0 down, courtesy of goals from Josh King and an apologetic Ismaila Sarr.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's final throw of the dice as Manchester United manager was to ironically throw on Donny Van de Beek. The Dutchman responded emphatically, netting a goal to bring his side back into the game. However, they couldn't find an equaliser with Cristiano Ronaldo, in particular, passing up multiple chances.
Harry Maguire's sending off with 20 minutes left allowed Watford to see off the game. Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis added a goal apiece in the dying embers of the game to make the scoreline as emphatic as it deserved to be.
With Solskjaer now out, the attention will once again be on Cristiano Ronaldo when Manchester United take on Villarreal on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League. The 36-year-old has scored in each of his four games in the competition this season. Three of them have been game-winners or equalisers.