Manchester United need ‘perfect performance’ at City, admits Solskjær

Jamie Jackson

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted Manchester United require a “perfect performance” to knock Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup and reach the final.

United have to overturn a 3-1 deficit in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg against the holders at the Etihad Stadium.

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Solskjær said: “It has to be a perfect performance to win with two goals against such a good team away from home.”

Away goals are not a factor and if the aggregate score is tied after 90 minutes, the game will go to penalties.

Solskjær pointed to how United overcame a 2-0 deficit at Paris Saint-Germain in last season’s Champions League last-16 tie, winning 3-1 in the return leg, and also referenced last month’s 2-1 victory at City.

“We have got to go into the memory bank and think about PSG, and the game in December gives us hope [too],” he said. “We hit them [City] last time when they were struggling a bit and since then they’ve played really well.

“We’ve lost Scott [McTominay] and Marcus [Rashford] since that game, we are a little bit lighter in the playing department, but we can’t just defend. We have to keep the ball and make them run after the ball – but we’ve done amazing things before at this club.”

Jürgen Klopp has said that he will select Liverpool’s youth players in their fourth-round FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury Town because it is to be staged in the upcoming winter break.

Asked about this Solskjær referred to how United did not defend the Cup as holders in 2000 because Sir Alex Ferguson chose to field his team in the Fifa Club World Championship.

“We all regret maybe not going for it in 2000 when we went to Brazil,” he said. “[But] it’s supposed to be a break and if it’s going to help the clubs they need a break – it’s up to Jürgen and Liverpool to make decisions.”

Solskjær offered no update on United’s interest in Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes and suggested Alexis Sánchez would be given another chance to prove himself after this season’s loan at Internazonale. “He will come back and prove you all wrong,” said Solskjær.

Nemanja Matic is a doubt to face City. “Nemanja has a slight problem,” Solskjær said. “Hopefully we can get him back on the pitch tomorrow.”