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BC-SOC--English Roundup

April 2, 2019
AP Sports Writer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going through his toughest period as Manchester United manager, just days after getting the job on a full-time basis.

United slumped to a third defeat in its last four matches after squandering an early lead to lose 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Tuesday. Two of those losses have come at Molineux, with Wolves winning by the same score in the FA Cup quarterfinals last month.

Solskjaer was initially hired as United’s interim manager in December and lost just one of his first 17 matches in charge, making his permanent appointment inevitable. United made that decision during the international break — despite successive losses by the team, at Arsenal and Wolves — and since then it has earned an unconvincing 2-1 home win over Watford on Saturday and now lost to Wolves again.

With momentum lost, Solskjaer has work to do to get United into the top four and back into the Champions League. It is in fifth place, behind fourth-place Tottenham on goal difference and two points adrift of third-place Arsenal having played a game more than both rivals.

United fell away after going ahead in the 13th minute through Scott McTominay’s first goal for the club. Diogo Jota equalized in the 25th after Fred was caught in possession, United captain Ashley Young was sent off in the 57th for two quick bookings and Chris Smalling scored an own goal in the 77th to seal another memorable win for Wolves in its first season back in the top flight.

They have now beaten United, Tottenham and Chelsea in the league, were the first team to take points off Manchester City, and claimed draws at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Emirates Stadium. They have also beaten United and Liverpool en route to the FA Cup semifinals.

While Wolves’ return to the Premier League couldn’t really have gone better, Fulham’s has been dreadful from day one.

The team from southwest London succumbed to the inevitable and was relegated with five games to spare after a 4-1 loss at Watford in Tuesday’s other game.

Fulham’s demotion came three days after last-place Huddersfield became the first team to go down.

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More AP English soccer: https://apnews.com/PremierLeague and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80