Manchester United vs Manchester City Summary
Manchester United suffered a fourth semi-final defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Carabao Cup against Manchester City on Wednesday night. A 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford sent United packing and Pep’s Blues to the final against Jose Mourinho’s Spurs. It was a cagey affair and, the reality of the match was that City took their chances and United failed to. A freekick was deflected into the net by John Stones and Fernandinho’s well-struck hit secured the win.
It’s a bitter pill to take for United fans as it is not only a derby defeat but a failure to make a big statement about winning trophies. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said there would be no excuses if the team loses this game. So questions must be asked of whether this team does have that winning mentality. This will certainly become clear this season as United remain in three competitions. On Tuesday they have a chance to go three points clear and have to take it.
On the other side, I have seen overreactions on social media. This is a bad result but some people believe our season is already over and it very clearly is not. There is still plenty to play for and plenty of time to make up for this result. That starts on Saturday and a chance to make things right in the FA Cup third round.
Manchester United vs Manchester City Player Ratings
Dean Henderson 8/10
Kept Manchester United in the game with some top saves. I am glad that Ole did give him the nod instead of De Gea. It shows a lot of faith in the England international rather than a lack of to the Spaniard. It makes a good statement and I expect him to keep his position on Saturday.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 5/10
I saw a tweet a few weeks ago about how Wan-Bissaka always defends narrowly and always failed to pick up wide players from crosses. At the time I rejected it as an agenda but the more I look, the more frequently I see it. He has to sort out this part of his game. Quickly.
Victor Lindelof 7/10
He looked composed on the ball, decent in dealing with the counter attack and was solid in the air. He showed Mahrez onto his left and it could have led to a goal. The only disappointing part of his performance.
Harry Maguire 5/10
He was not at fault for the opener. I stand by that position. He played well defensively all game and had Sterling the whole game. Where he gets the lower rating is in the other box. He missed two massive chances to open the scoring and failed to connect properly. It is not a coincidence that he was the highest shooting defender last season and only scored one header. He has one this season and easily could have had more. Again, something he needs to work on as we make a lot of chances from set pieces and he could have double figures already.
Luke Shaw 6.5/10
Did well against Sterling but often got caught up the pitch and couldn’t get back. This is his weakness even when fully fit and City exposed it in the second half.
Scott McTominay 5/10
Couldn’t get into the game as City were slick in their passing. He made a few decent challenges but was taken out of the game by the stylish City midfielders.
Impressive passing range at times. Did get caught out when McTominay came off but was to be expected. Struggled to get into the game at times but when he was involved he played well.
Paul Pogba 7.5/10
Another good performance. Played in three different positions during the game and played each one expertly.
Bruno Fernandes 5/10
Should have done better with the two real chances he had. Did struggle like Fred and McTominay to get into the game at times. Credit must be given to Fernandinho for that. I hope he is rested at the weekend.
Marcus Rashford 4/10
Wasteful and offside a few times. He had more of the ball than Martial and wasted more of it too.
Anthony Martial 4/10
Struggled to get into the game both due to a lack of movement and a lack of service. Had a good chance to head the ball at the far post and did go down easily a few times. Not a good game but I don’t doubt he will bounce back.
Mason Greenwood 5/10
Offered width and a direct approach but no final product.
Donny van de Beek n/a
Man of the Match: Dean Henderson
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 6/10
I think he made good calls with the lineup. He started both Pogba and Bruno as United needed their creativity. Starting Fred and McTominay had to happen as playing Matic would have been a fiasco with the runners in City’s midfield. Again bringing Lindelof in was the right call as overworking Bailly could be detrimental to his fitness.
Where I think he went wrong is he tried to take on a resurgent City toe-to-toe. Ironically, United struggled to create chances because of it and were countered devastatingly at times. Perhaps a pragmatic approach would have worked like against Everton but perhaps not. The other side is that he took a pragmatic approach in the league and he won a point but was slaughtered for doing so. This time he took a more aggressive approach and lost the game. It’s a difficult choice and unfortunately it did not pay off in this match.