Solskjaer hoping for '4-3' Manchester derby classic

‘Let’s hope it’s a 4-3 like we’ve seen before’: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hoping for derby ‘classic’ against Manchester City but warns players to control their emotions or risk another heavy defeat

  • Manchester United lost 3-1 to Manchester City at Old Trafford back in January
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says players were guilty of losing composure that night
  • Solskjaer says his side have to be wary of leaving spaces open for City to attack 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his players to keep their heads in Sunday’s Old Trafford derby to avoid a repeat of their Carabao Cup meltdown against Manchester City.

United were effectively out of the semi-final tie after the first leg at home in January when they were stunned by three City goals before half-time. 

Marcus Rashford scored in the second half to make it 3-1 and United won the second leg at the Etihad 1-0, but it wasn’t enough to stop City reaching the final at Wembley where they beat Aston Villa last weekend to retain the trophy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his players to control their emotions during Sunday’s derby

Solskjaer is hoping for a goal-laden affair but has warned players not to lose their composure

Solskjaer felt his players lost focus during the 3-1 defeat to City at Old Trafford in January

As Pep Guardiola’s side head back to Old Trafford on Sunday, Solskjaer hopes United have learned from that experience and will not be quite so gung-ho again.

‘When you’re at home and you have to open up against a team like Man City, they will exploit that if you’re not 100 per cent,’ he said.


Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea 6, Wan-Bissaka 5.5, Lindelof 5, Jones 5, Williams 7, Pereira 4, Fred 5, James 6 (Gomes 64, 6.5), Lingard 5 (Matic 45, 6), Rashford 7, Greenwood 6 (Martial 81)

Subs not used: Mata, Dalot, Romero, Chong

Goals: Rashford 70

Booked: Lingard, Fred, Williams

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 5 

Manchester City (4-3-3): Bravo 6.5, Walker 7, Fernandinho 8.5, Otamendi 7, Mendy 6.5, De Bruyne 8.5 (Jesus 80), Rodri 8, Gundogan 7.5, Mahrez 7.5 (Foden 86), Silva 9, Sterling 7

Subs not used: Aguero, Silva, Cancelo, Ederson, Garcia

Goals: Silva 17, Mahrez 33, Pereira o.g. 38

Booked: Rodri, Walker 

Manager: Pep Guardiola – 8 

Referee: Mike Dean – 6 

By Jack Gaughan 

‘Sometimes being at home with your fans, you want to show them what you can do and beat your opponent, and sometimes you open too many spaces. That’s what we did for those 20 minutes after they scored a worldie.

‘Before Bernardo scored in the top corner it wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t an issue until our heads went for a little while, so we’ve got to control our emotions more. We’ve learned so that’s an experience we’ll bring into this game definitely.

‘Our heads went for a spell there, thinking that we had to recover the game in 10 minutes. You don’t have to do that when it’s a cup competition and two games, so we’ve learned from that one definitely.

‘City will feel confident. They’ve hit form and they’re playing well. They’ve just been at the Bernabeu winning there (2-1 against Real Madrid in the Champions League), and they’ve won the cup final so I’m sure they’ll come confident. They’ll play their own game, we’ll play our game and hopefully it’ll be a good one.

‘Let’s hope it’s a 4-3 like we’ve seen before. There’s been many classics so we’ll do what we can to make it a classic.’

The Carabao Cup double header means that Sunday’s derby will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs this season. They are so familiar with one another that Solskjaer won’t even bother showing his players a video of the previous games. 

Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez both scored as City overwhelmed United throughout

Solskjaer says City will have renewed confidence following their win over Real Madrid

‘Four times in a few months as well,’ he added. ‘There’s not going to be any video tomorrow or Saturday because we’ve played them so many times. I think it helps.

‘We want to play. My team is still developing, our team is still developing and you want to play against the best. We need to learn and they’ve been the best the last few seasons. For us it’s a great challenge.

‘I’m sure we have an element of surprise, that’s not an issue. So has he (Guardiola). It’s one of them. Everyone has watched Man City quite a few times and we have to be ready for whatever they throw at us.’


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