Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Slams 'Worst' Performance vs. Manchester City

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2020

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (L) and Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola react during the English League Cup semi-final first leg football match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on January 7, 2020. - Manchester City won the match 3-1. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Manchester United's first-half performance against Manchester City in Tuesday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford was "the worst we've played." 

The Red Devils went 1-0 down to Bernardo Silva in the 17th minute, Riyad Mahrez made it 2-0 to the visitors just after the half-hour mark and City's total dominance was further established when Andreas Pereira turned into his own net before the break.

In the second half, Marcus Rashford pulled one back for the hosts to give them a lifeline ahead of the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on January 29.

The winner of the all-Manchester tie will take on either Leicester City or Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final. 

Despite their improvement after the break, Solskjaer did not mince his words when assessing how poorly his side played in the opening 45 minutes. He said:

"The first half, from their first goal, was the worst we've played. Pride is a word you speak about at half-time. It's natural that your head goes down, but we have to get back into the mentality quicker. It can't be me at half-time.

"Make sure you win the second half and you're still in the tie. It's a difficult task ahead of us. Even though it is a steep mountain to climb we can still climb it. We've got a young team. We're still learning. These experiences will stick. The second half gives me something to believe in."

United are now without a win in three matches in all competitions.

Before the City game, they lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the Premier League and drew 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup in a drab performance:

On Saturday, they are back in Premier League action when they host Norwich City at Old Trafford.

Given the Canaries are bottom of the table, it should be a routine victory for United, but Norwich will have taken heart from the Red Devils' recent poor form.

Equally, Solskjaer's squad is ravaged by injury, notably in defence and midfield.

Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay were all absent from the squad that faced City because of fitness issues.

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