“You know, when you play Man City in the Carabao Cup and they put their strongest team out, you know that you’ve come places,” he said.
“Because that means that they respect us, and teams start to respect Man United, coming here.
“So I didn’t take that too badly, I take that as a compliment that they came out with their best players.”
This was, understandably, met with fury from United supporters, perhaps unable to adjust their expectations based on their quality of personnel both on and off the field.
And Solskjaer has done it again in the wake of Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool, which saw the Reds register 16 shots to United’s nine, having two goals ruled out, and create 14 chances to their five.
“We lost to Liverpool, a team that you all say are fantastic and we’ve been in the game until the last kick of the ball. For me, that’s strides forward,” he told reporters.
“Of course we’re disappointed about losing the game. We don’t want to be behind them in the league.
“But there are signs there that we’re on the right track, definitely.”
United suffered their seven loss of the season at Anfield, with Chelsea and Tottenham (both eight) the only sides in the top half of the table to lose more, and dropping points has allowed Wolves to draw level in the race for fifth.
Solskjaer should be forgiven for providing an accurate assessment of United’s current situation, but his comments only serve to humiliate the club he is leading.
In March of last year, he reference the “old days” under Alex Ferguson, and this has remained his crutch throughout a strange spell in charge at Old Trafford.
It could not contrast more fittingly with Liverpool’s revival under Jurgen Klopp, with a 30-point gap between the two clubs highlighting how far the Reds have come, and how far United have fallen.
Forcing Alisson to make four saves on Sunday may be “strides forward” to Solskjaer, but it is unlikely many of their fans will agree.