The Norwegian boss claimed that their cross-town rivals are probably the best team in England as his side fell short in yet another semi-final
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists that Manchester United’s recent semi-final struggles are “not psychological” as the Red Devils fell short against rivals Manchester City on Wednesday.
Goals from John Stones and Fernandinho lifted Pep Guardiola’s side to a 2-0 win as Man City booked their place in the Carabao Cup finale.
They’ll face Tottenham at Wembley in April, having won three consecutive Carabao Cups prior to this season – as well as the 2018-19 FA Cup.
While Manchester City have thrived in domestic knockout competitions, Manchester United have struggled to reach finals, and win trophies, with there still a gap in quality between themselves and their cross-town counterparts.
Man Utd have been eliminated from all four semi-finals they’ve played in since Solskjaer took over in December 2018, losing twice in the final four of the League Cup while also failing to reach an FA Cup and a Europa League finale.
Despite those semi-final struggles, Solskjaer says that Man Utd’s issues on this stage are merely a coincidence and not an indication of any underlying issues.
“Manchester City can score many great goals. You can accept that. When you concede two simple set-plays, it’s very disappointing. Just not good enough in those moments,” he told Sky Sports.
“We didn’t create enough big chances. They didn’t either. We didn’t have the extra finesse we’ve had in the games lately. We weren’t good enough today.
“We played against a very good Manchester City team. They played well. When they play well you have to play very well to beat them. We were just lacking that little bit.
“We’re getting closer. This is a much better version of United than a year ago in those semis.
“It’s not psychological [losing in four semi-finals]. Sometimes you meet good teams in the semis. We met City who, at the moment, are probably the best team in England.”
Manchester United will have a chance to go top of the Premier League against Burnley next Tuesday, as they sit level on points with Liverpool.
However, before that, the Red Devils are set to continue their push in the FA Cup as they’ll host Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday.