Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defends Manchester United early exit from Carabao Cup without Cristiano Ronaldo

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The manager of Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has defended his team after failing to beat West Ham United to proceed to the next round of the Carabao Cup.

The Norwegian tactician decided not to name Cristiano Ronaldo in the team list that took on West Ham United at Old Trafford on Wednesday, September 22.

He also decided to start Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood from the bench, a strategy that failed to pay off against a very compact West Ham United team.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his boys faced West Ham in the third round of the Carabao Cup less than four days after beating the London team 1-2 at London Stadium in the Premier League.

Unfortunately for Manchester United, they could not repeat the feat at Old Trafford, a place that ought to be United’s stronghold.

The 9th-minute goal Manuel Lanzini scored for West Ham United was enough to end Manchester United’s journey in the Carabao Cup and gave coach David Moyes good revenge over coach Solskjaer.

Based on the Wednesday result, this season’s Carabao Cup campaign is Solskjaer’s worst campaign in three seasons. Recall that the Norwegian coach-led Manchester United to two successive semi-finals finish in the last two seasons.

Despite not keeping up with their standard in the tournament, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his players, saying they had a “good go”.

“It was a poor start again, that needs addressing,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports after the game.

“After that, we played well for long periods and gave it a good go. Stats don’t mean anything but when you’ve got 27 shots you know the boys have given it a good go.

“We didn’t create big chances but we created pressure. Mason Greenwood had a big chance but sometimes that pressure doesn’t come to anything. Of course, in the last few minutes we had to go gung-ho and they could have scored another.

“You want to go through but it’s a long season. Everyone gave it a good go. I can’t fault their attitude. We’ve got big games coming up and that’s the decision we made.

“We’re at the start of the season, we know it’s going to be a long journey. Champions League, FA Cup, Premier League – we’ve got lots of games. We just keep doing what we’re doing to try and get results. We’ve started the season OK, apart from being out of this cup, which isn’t great. And we haven’t had a good result in Europe but we’ll be ready for Saturday.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United deserved a penalty in the game

Mark Noble pulled down Jesse Lingard during the Carabao Cup game on Wednesday.
Mark Noble pulled down Jesse Lingard during the Carabao Cup game on Wednesday.

Coach David Moyes of West Ham United made a lot of changes to his squad ahead of the Carabao Cup third-round game against Manchester United.

He decided to start the club’s captain Mark Noble who missed a spot-kick in the club’s last Premier League game against Manchester United.

During the Carabao Cup game, Noble almost spoilt West Ham United’s party by pulling down Jesse Lingard in West Ham’s eighteen-yard box before action switched in favor of West Ham.

The referee refused to award a spot-kick to Manchester United. Shortly after, Lanzini scored the only goal of the match.

Solskjaer argued that: “It’s a penalty on Jesse. You can’t pull his shorts when you are on the way down. Mark [Noble] was unlucky on Sunday and lucky with that one today.”

But Noble said: “That’s football, he dived and I told him off for screaming, funnily enough, he didn’t really do it at our place but he does it here.

“We laughed at the pitch today, I love Jesse, he’s a great character and I’m so pleased he’s come here and getting his chance, he’s scored some fantastic goals obviously the one against us was hurtful, he’s a great lad and he deserves everything he gets.”