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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slams Man United's worst display this season

Man United manager slams players for going 3-0 down to local rivals City after just 38 minutes

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has labelled his side's first-half performance in yesterday morning's (Singapore time) League Cup semi-final, first-leg defeat by Manchester City as their worst display of the season.

Despite starting the game without a recognised striker, holders City outclassed United in a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford, scoring all their goals in a 21-minute first-half blitz.

Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal gave the Citizens a three-goal advantage within 38 minutes, before Marcus Rashford pulled one back 20 minutes from time.

The performance led Solskjaer to question his squad's mental attitude, as he insisted the players needed to learn to spur themselves on when things went against them, reported Reuters.

"From their goal until halftime is the worst we've played," said Solskjaer.

"From the first goal until half-time, we couldn't cope.

"We let them play, our heads dropped, we made decisions we shouldn't (have) and it needed sorting at half-time.

"It's natural your head goes down when you feel you're not performing, but we've got to get out of it quicker...

"It can't be me coming in at half-time, that's the learning this team (must do).

"We've got a young team. I've said it a few times, but it's not going to change between every press conference, that statement. I'm still in that phase.

"It's a young team and we're learning and these experiences must stick."

Ex-Red Devil Darren Fletcher accused his former team of being naive and lacking leaders.

He said on Sky Sports: "Ole spoke before the game about their youthful energy... But they were a bit naive and lightweight...


"They have got a young, inexperienced team. They could do with some leaders, some experienced players, but the manager has got what he has got and they have got to develop some leaders within themselves.

"Sometimes players have to take responsibility on the pitch and I think he was looking for his team to do that. Solve some problems yourself.

"Two centre-backs can't stand for the whole half and mark nobody, somebody has to do something different.

"Change it yourself, be brave, make a decision, which is what we did under Sir Alex Ferguson. I'm sure Ole has given them responsibility to do that as well.

"It is important that not only the manager is solving problems but players on the pitch are solving problems as well."

Former City defender Micah Richards, meanwhile, suggested that the Red Devils' surprise EPL win at the Etihad last month made them "underestimate" Pep Guardiola's side.

He said on Sky Sports: "It is almost like when City went two, three up, they gave up a little bit, yes half-time changed it a bit.

"As a footballer, make a few tackles, especially in a derby. I think United accepted defeat, yeah they got a goal back, but it was a consolation.

"In the league, they dropped off, forced City to come to them and hit them on the counter attack.

"They got overexcited with that result in the league and underestimated how good a team City are.

"City won the league twice in a row and you have to respect that.

"There was no fight, there was no grit.

"No player was going round putting in a tackle and respecting how good a team City are."