MANCHESTER, England (AP) — During his 11 trophy-laden years at Manchester United from 1996-2007, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a central figure in some of the most free-scoring teams English football has witnessed.
None of them, though, were as rampant as Manchester City's class of 2013/14, and Solskjaer found out to his cost on Saturday.
The Old Trafford great returned to Manchester for the first time as a coach and saw his Cardiff side overwhelmed 4-2 by City, which became the fastest team in the Premier League era to pass the 100-goal mark in all competitions.
It's taken City just 34 games to reach the milestone. The previous record was held by Chelsea, who brought up the century in its 42nd match last season.
"There's no doubt this is a terrific team," Solskjaer said, sidestepping a question about whether this current City lineup compared favorably to the United sides he graced around the turn of the century. "We got tested against some of the best players in Europe."
Edin Dzeko brought up City's century of goals with a scruffy opener that dribbled just over the line in the 14th minute at Etihad Stadium, with the validity of the strike confirmed by the Goal Decision System on the giant screens in the corner of the ground.
Craig Noone equalized for Cardiff in the 29th minute but Jesus Navas restored City's lead three minutes later and second-half goals by Yaya Toure and substitute Sergio Aguero kept up the team's 100 percent home record in the league.
"It's not easy to score 103 goals by the middle of the season," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "It reflects how we think this team must play. We are always an attractive team."
Fraizer Campbell scored an injury-time consolation for the visiting Welsh side, which finds itself at the bottom of the table to ensure a miserable return to Manchester for Solskjaer. He has lost both of his league games since joining Cardiff from Molde last month.
"I knew what I was up against when I came here," Solskjaer said. "I didn't come here and think everything was going to be all-singing and all-dancing."
Cardiff competed gamely, with Noone consistently threatening on the right wing as City's attacking left back, Aleksandar Kolarov, went forward at every opportunity. Yet if City's finishing had been at the level Solskjaer regularly demonstrated in his pomp at Old Trafford, Cardiff could easily have lost by a nine- or 10-goal margin.