Red Devils succumb to 4th successive semi-final defeat under Ole.
Manchester City booked a place into their fourth consecutive Carabao Cup final after what seemed like a breezy, walk in the park 2-0 win against city rivals, Manchester United. They will now face Jose Mourinho’s Spurs in the final at Wembley, in what will be an exciting clash between two of England’s top tier sides.
Conversely, Manchester United fell to their 4th straight semi-final defeat in the span of 13 months under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who just can’t seem to break the semis jinx.
Defeats in the domestic cups to Chelsea (FA Cup), City (EFL Cup) and in Europe to Sevilla (Europa league) last season and now getting beaten by City again in the EFL cup this term, show that Ole has definitely made strides with this United side but just can’t help them get over the line come crunch time.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has most certainly produced the desired impact, and there’s a certain flair with which United are attacking now. But the defence remains unreliable and leaky. Maguire, Lindelof, and Bailly have all been inconsistent at centre-back, and opposition teams know they’re vulnerable playing out from the back. Every team in the PL knows if you press United high up the pitch with intensity, this defence is bound to make a couple of mistakes and there always will be chances to score.
Approaching the City game at hand, it was as built up as the battle between the midfield maestros, Fernandes v/s De Bruyne, as in all the pre-match talks.
It was an invigorating and exciting spectacle with both teams seemingly going for it and not holding back. United started on the front foot early in the game and Rashford had a goal correctly ruled out due to offside. City slowly and surely made their way into the game and then completely dominated it. De Bruyne had a fierce shot rattle off the side post, a strike Henderson probably had no chance of saving. The first half finished at a stalemate though, with goals from both Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden chalked off for offside as well.
Poorly defended set-pieces were the death of Manchester United in the second half, with City going to the front, five minutes after the break, after Foden’s ball in the box found an incoming John Stones at the back post past the crowd of players, who slotted in home for his first goal of the season.
Fernandes had a good pop at the City goal saved by Steffen, but other than that, there was little joy for United going forward. Fernandinho then finally fired home for the visitors with a vicious shot from outside the box, after Wan Bissaka’s clearance found him off of a set-piece, to seal the tie and their ticket to another Wembley final.
Image Credit – Manchester United Twitter