Solskjaer says Man United can make a statement by reaching final

Bring on City! Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United have the chance to make a statement by beating rivals and breaking semi-final jinx after three defeats in last year

  • Pep Guardiola’s side knocked Man United out at the same stage last season
  • United were also beaten in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Europa League
  • Solskjaer has challenged his squad to show they can bring success to club

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to settle a score after Manchester United breezed into the Carabao Cup semi-finals and a date with Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side knocked United – who progressed thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win at Everton – out at the same stage last season and are chasing a fourth consecutive win in the tournament, which would equal the record Liverpool set between 1981 and 1984.

But Solskjaer’s team are in a rich vein of form and the Norwegian has challenged his squad to show they can bring success to Old Trafford. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has challenged his players to show they can achieve success

United lost three semi-finals last season and their manager believes a one-off tussle with City represents a perfect chance to make a statement.

‘We’ve had three semi-finals the last year of course and it’s a step not far enough,’ said Solskjaer. ‘This year again, as last year, we play them in the semi-finals so let’s see how we fare.’

United dominated from the start but they did not get their reward until the 87th minute when Edinson Cavani made the breakthrough. The Uruguayan scored his first goals in English football at Goodison Park in October and Solskjaer is thrilled with his progress.

‘I don’t think Edi has had a slow start – anyone can be injured,’ he said. ‘I’m really pleased with his influence and the good habits he brings. You can see how well he looks after himself and he has scored some important goals. He is going to be here and he will get better and better.’

Edinson Cavani (left) made the breakthrough with a superb strike in the 87th minute

Cavani was involved in a flashpoint early in the second half when he appeared to grab Everton defender Yerry Mina by the throat.

Everton, however, had no complaints that Cavani was not sent-off and boss Carlo Ancelotti was left to rue a performance from his players that simply did not threaten to trouble United, as they failed to have a shot on target in the second half.

‘The players did not talk about this (Cavani) after the game,’ said Ancelotti. ‘If the referee decided that Cavani did nothing wrong, we accept this.’

On Richarlison, who suffered concussion in a collision with Bruno Fernandes and Eric Bailly, Ancelotti added: ‘He has no problem now. Our doctor had total control of the situation. 

He decided that Richarlison should come off and we totally agree. The health and welfare of the player is most important. 

United players mob Cavani after he gave their side the lead at Goodison Park on Wednesdau

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