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Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed as valid Sir Alex Ferguson point made

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increasing pressure as Manchester United manager after his team was beaten 5-0 by Liverpool at Old Trafford, but a former team-mate has come to his defence

Manchester United's defeat to Liverpool handed the club a reality check in their pursuit of a strong Premier League finish, and increased the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 5-0 defeat made it four league games without victory for the Red Devils, who were 4-0 down at half-time in Sunday's game.

United ended the weekend in seventh place, eight points off the top of the table, having begun the season as title contenders, with their manager facing a crunch three games as he aims to save his job.

The Norwegian has received backing from former team-mate Phil Neville, though, with comparisons made to one of the most challenging moments for United in their 90s glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Neville was on United's books when Solskjaer first arrived as a player ahead of the 1996-97 season, and the team began their title defence with a nine-game unbeaten run.

However, they then proceeded to lose 5-0 to title rivals Newcastle United - one of three straight defeats - before recovering to finish top of the pile in May.

Solskjaer started the loss at St James' Park, with Neville sitting on the bench, and the Inter Miami has come to the defence of his one-time colleague after a similar heavy loss.

"United lost a game of football 5-0 to Liverpool. Yes, it hurt. Yes, it was probably a real sickening blow for everybody that's ever played, supported, or been involved with Manchester United; but it's not as if United has never lost 5-0 ever in history," Neville told the Miami Herald .

"This has happened and United bounced back and won things. I lost at St. James' Park 5-0. Philippe Albert chipped Peter Schmeichel and it felt no different.

"The only difference was there was not a billion people on Twitter thinking they knew best about this, that and the other."

United followed the 5-0 Newcastle defeat by losing 6-3 at Southampton and 2-1 at home to Chelsea.

The run of results left Ferguson's team down in sixth, but they lost just two more league games all season and finished seven points clear of runners-up Newcastle.

Neville and Solskjaer featured in another five-goal defeat against Chelsea in 1999, and again United finished the season as title-winners.

Manchester United's next Premier League game is away to Tottenham Hotspur, after which they face a trip to face Atalanta in the Champions League.

Their final match before the international break is against neighbours Manchester City, who currently sit six points ahead of them in the league table after an eight-match unbeaten league run.

Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly paid a visit to United's Carrington training ground after the Liverpool defeat, with Solskjaer targeting a first Premier League victory since September 19.