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On This Day: February 6

On This Day: February 6

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be building a fearsome reputation in the dugout for Manchester United, but he was also once lethal on the field.

The Norwegian was well known for his antics from the bench, with his late strike in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich arguably his proudest moment as a player.

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However, he will never forget the night, 20 years ago, when he was sent on against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground with 18 minutes left to play.

United boasted a comfortable 4-1 lead over Forest and first-team coach Jim Ryan recalls saying to the striker: “You’re going to come on, Ole. We’re winning 4-1, so there’s no need to do anything stupid – just keep the ball.”

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Solskjaer didn’t appear to take much notice of Ryan and later admitted he was keen to impress new assistant manager Steve McClaren. He certainly put on a show in the short time spent on the field.

A simple tap-in set Solskjaer on his way in the 80th minute when he arrived at the far post to meet Gary Neville’s low, drilled cross.

At 5-1 down, Forest looked dejected and disorganised, and Solskjaer and co were primed to take full advantage on the banks of the River Trent.

His second came eight minutes later when he latched on to a trademark through ball from David Beckham, beating the offside trap.

Dave Beasant came off his line to save the initial lob before Solskjaer took advantage, with his second attempt finding the top corner. The hat-trick was completed in stoppage time when he slammed home a volley from just inside the box.

Just moments later, Paul Scholes uncharacteristically sliced a shot and Solskjaer was on hand to apply the finishing touch from 12 yards out.

Remarkably, his performance was a mere drop in the ocean for what was to come as United went on to claim a historic treble that season.

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