Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been sacked as Manchester United manager after an “embarrassing” 4-1 defeat at Watford.
United have confirmed Solskjaer’s assistant Michael Carrick will be placed in temporary charge, with the club also revealing their intention to appoint an interim manager until the end of the season.
Solskjaer signed a new three-year deal in July but leaves after overseeing five defeats in their last seven Premier League matches – a run which sees them 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.
The Old Trafford hierarchy had ignored increasingly vociferous calls to relieve Solskjaer of his duties in the wake of a humiliating 5-0 loss to rivals Liverpool and a 2-0 derby defeat to Manchester City in early November.
But his position was discussed by United officials on Saturday evening following the crushing defeat at Vicarage Road, before the announcement of his dismissal followed on Sunday morning.
A club statement said: “Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as manager.
“Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.”
The United hierarchy believed Solskjaer had earned the chance to turn around his side’s slump, but the chastening nature of Saturday’s defeat made it clear to them change was needed.
Following a second-placed finish in the Premier League last season and the summer signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, United chiefs expected to see further progress this campaign.