Comparing the first 100 games of Solskjaer and Klopp

Ian Watson

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge of Manchester United for the 100th time on Sunday. Here’s how his start at Old Trafford compares with Jurgen Klopp’s opening 100 games as Liverpool boss…


Tale of the tape…

Played: Solskjaer: 100  Klopp: 100
Won: 56 – 50
Drawn: 20 – 29
Lost: 24 – 21
Goals scored: 186 – 182
Goals conceded: 104 – 108
Points (all comps): 188 – 179
PPG (all comps): 1.88 – 1.79
Premier League points: 113 – 125
Premier League PPG: 1.74 – 1.81
Overall win percentage: 56% – 50%

  • Solskjaer’s United have a better overall win ratio over their first 100 games than Klopp’s Liverpool, but Klopp’s side earned more Premier League points within that period of time. If United were to win their next four league matches, Solskjaer would actually match Klopp’s number of league wins from 69 games.
  • Solskjaer’s men scored four more goals and conceded four fewer than Klopp’s in each manager’s first 100 games in charge.
  • Klopp’s Premier League win percentage in his first 100 matches in charge is marginally better than Solskjaer’s – 50.7% versus 49.2%.
  • Neither manager won a trophy in their first 100 games. While Solskjaer has been more consistent in cup competitions, he has never taken United into a final, having been beaten at the semi-final stage in the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League. Klopp took Liverpool to two finals – the League Cup and Europa League – at the end of his first season in charge, but they lost both.


The breakdown:


Premier League: P: 65 W: 32 D: 17 L: 16 F: 111 A: 74 GD: +37  Win percentage: 49.2%
FA Cup: P:10 W:7 D:1 L:2 F:21  A:7 GD:+14 Win percentage: 70%
League Cup: P:7 W:6 D:0 L:1 F:19 A:9 GD:+10 Win percentage: 85.7%
Europa League: P:12 W:8 D:2 L:2 F:25 A:6 GD:+19 Win percentage: 66.6%
Champions League: P:6 W:3 D:0 L:3 F:10 A:8 GD:+2 Win percentage: 50%



Premier League: P:69 W:35 D:20 L:14 F:136 A:85 GD:+51  Win percentage: 50.7%
FA Cup: P:7 W:2 D:3 L:2 F:8 A:6 GD:+2 Win percentage: 28.6%
League Cup: P:11 W:7 D:1 L:3 F:21 A:6 GD:+15 Win percentage: 63.6%
Europa League: P:13 W:6 D:5 L:2 F:17 A:11 GD:+8 Win percentage: 46.1%
Champions League: N/A



Premier League finishes:
6th (21 games in charge; United were 6th upon Solskjaer’s arrival); 3rd; currently 15th.

8th (30 games in charge; Liverpool were 10th upon Klopp’s arrival); 4th; Klopp’s 100th game in charge fell on the opening day of 2017/18 when they drew 3-3 at Watford.


Domestic Cups:
FA Cup: 6th round in 2018/19; semi-finals in 2019/20.
League Cup: Reached semi-finals last season; currently in quarter-finals.

FA Cup: Beaten in fourth round in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
League Cup: Beaten finalists in 2015/16; semi-finalists in 2016/17.


European competition:
Guided United through Champions League last-16 tie versus PSG before being beaten in quarter-finals in 2017/18. In the Europa League, Solskjaer’s United were beaten by Sevilla in last season’s semi-finals.

Klopp took Liverpool to the Europa League final in his first season in charge but the Reds were beaten by Sevilla, which meant they failed to qualify for Europe for his first full season in charge.

10 most-used players


Marcus Rashford – 81 appearances
Victor Lindelof – 79 appearances
David de Gea – 76 appearances
Anthony Martial – 72 appearances
Fred – 70 appearances
Luke Shaw – 64 appearances
Harry Maguire – 63 appearances
Scott McTominay – 61 appearances
Jesse Lingard – 61 appearances
Mason Greenwood – 60 appearances


Roberto Firmino – 84 appearances
Nathaniel Clyne – 83 appearances
Emre Can – 79 appearances
Adam Lallana – 77 appearances
Simon Mignolet – 77 appearances
James Milner – 77 appearances
Divock Origi – 73 appearances
Philippe Coutinho – 69 appearances
Dejan Lovren – 66 appearances
Lucas Leiva – 66 appearances


Most-used XIs


De Gea

Wan-Bissaka     Lindelof     Maguire     Shaw

McTominay     Matic     Fred


Rashford     Martial




Clyne    Lovren     Lucas    Moreno

Henderson    Can

Milner     Lallana     Coutinho



Top goalscorers


Marcus Rashford – 38
Anthony Martial – 28
Mason Greenwood – 19
Bruno Fernandes – 16
Paul Pogba – 13


Philippe Coutinho – 25
Roberto Firmino – 24
Divock Origi – 21
Daniel Sturridge – 18
Sadio Mane – 14


Five most expensive purchases in first 100 games


Harry Maguire – £85m
Bruno Fernandes – £47m rising to £67.7m
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – £45m rising to £50m
Donny van de Beek – £40m
Daniel James – £15m



Mo Salah – £34.3m
Sadio Mane – £34m
Georginio Wijnaldum – £23m rising to £25m
Andrew Robertson – £8m
Marko Grujic – £5.1m

  • You could argue that of Solskjaer’s most expensive signings, only Fernandes has been an obvious success. Maguire certainly improved United’s defence last season but his critics remain vociferous, especially after a dreadful start to the season. Wan-Bissaka is great defensively but worryingly uncomfortable going forward, which is a huge problem if Solskjaer persists with the diamond midfield. Van de Beek can’t get a game and the logic in signing a player in his position is so far unfathomable, while James looks unlikely to make the grade at Old Trafford.
  • In contrast, four of Klopp’s most-expensive early signings remain pivotal in his first XI, even if there were doubts over Wijnaldum’s future this summer. With Grujic, Liverpool have already recouped around two-thirds of their investment just from loan fees. Had he left permanently in the summer, the Reds expected to make a profit on the region of £15million.


Total spent on transfers inside 100 games

Solskjaer: £249.55million*

Klopp: £124.1million*

*according to Transfermarkt