Manchester United knocked out of Carabao Cup, but Solskjaer praises players for ‘having a go’
And this morning (SGT), the Red Devils took another step towards extending that streak as they crashed out of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 defeat to West Ham.
To put that barren run into context, even Arsenal – the undisputed butt of all jokes among United fans at the moment – have managed to win silverware since the Manchester outfit’s last trophy.
Manuel Lanzini’s ninth minute strike at Old Trafford today was enough for the Hammers to gain a measure of revenge over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, who they had lost 2-1 to by the skin of their teeth just days earlier in the English Premier League (EPL). The result also had the effect of making it a perfect week of Carabao Cup action for Liverpool fans.
The defeat, however, was especially galling for United as they had – unlike their other top-four rivals – opted not to use the competition to give their youngsters some experience. Instead, they fielded a fairly strong and experienced second-string side which included the likes of Victor Lindelof, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial, and Jesse ‘Lingardinho’ Lingard.
WATCH: Solskjaer refuses to single out Martial for Carabao Cup exit
Given that Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes also came off the bench to try and rescue the game for United, it was clear that they were quite keen on progressing to the next round of the competition which they had reached the semi-finals of in the last two season.
Despite the loss, however, United manager Solskjaer still found it in himself to praise his team for ‘giving it a go’ against a West Ham side that were without first-teamers Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice and Michail Antonio.
Stealing a quote from Tottenham Hotspur’s 2016/2017 season review DVD, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “We didn't create big chances but we created pressure.”
The Norwegian added: “It was a poor start again, that needs addressing. After that we played well for long periods...stats don't mean anything but when you've got 27 shots you know the boys have given it a good go.
“Mason Greenwood had a big chance but sometimes that pressure doesn't come to anything. Of course, in the last few minutes we had to go gung-ho and they could have scored another.
“You want to go through but it's a long season…I can't fault their attitude. We've got big games coming up and that's the decision we made.”
Solskjaer also remained bullish about his team’s chances of ending their wait for silverware, by pointing out that United still had three competitions to fight for.
WATCH: Solskjaer reacts to United's Champions League defeat to Young Boys
“We're at the start of the season, we know it's going to be a long journey. Champions League, FA Cup, Premier League - we've got lots of games,” declared Solskjaer, whose side lost their opening Champions League game last week to Young Boys as well.
“We just keep doing what we're doing to try and get results. We've started the season OK, apart from being out of this cup, which isn't great. And we haven't had a good result in Europe but we'll be ready for Saturday (against Aston Villa).”
United fans, however, were less forgiving of Solskjaer and the team for crashing out of the Carabao Cup.
The other notable Carabao Cup matches that were played today saw Arsenal beat Wimbledon 3-0...
WATCH: Arteta hails impact of Arsenal fans after beating Wimbledon
While both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur also progressed to the next round after beating Aston Villa and Wolves respectively on penalties.