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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Manchester United missed Edinson Cavani’s ability to wreak “havoc” in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat.
United lost to Manchester City in the semi-finals after goals in the second half by John Stones and Fernandinho. In fact, City’s victory came amid their long list of absentees due to the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils started Anthony Martial up front with Cavani out due to his suspension.
The FA sanctioned the Uruguayan three games on New Years Eve for a social media post in November.
In the 33-year-old’s absence, Martial had some half chances, but he rarely put City’s defense to the test.
And Solskjaer said after the game (via Twitter): “Edinson could have wreaked some havoc there with his movement and presence in the area.”
Defeat was rare on English soil for United. In fact, it was the first in 11 games in national competitions, dating back to a 1-0 loss to Arsenal in early November.
However, they remain unbeaten in 10 Premier League games before next Tuesday’s clash with Burnley.
The Red Devils he can go ahead of leader Liverpool with a win at Turf Moor before next Sunday’s delightful trip to Anfield.
Elsewhere in his comments following their loss to City, meanwhile, Solskjaer defended midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
Solskjaer offers support to Fernandes
On a rare night’s rest for the Portugal international, he failed to cheer the hosts to life against Pep Guardiola’s men.
But his coach insisted that his teammates should also contribute with the key moments.
“It’s not just about Bruno not finding inspiration,” Solskjaer said (via Manchester evening news). “It’s about the whole team creating opportunities and when you play against good teams, Man City played well tonight, you have to get it right and earn the right to create opportunities.
“We had some moments in the first half at halftime, the second was more pressure but we didn’t create great chances. Anthony had a decent couple of halves, but we just didn’t have enough on the last pass or final finish.
I felt that in the first half we defended very well, they raised some problems but we kept them quite far from our goal. They had a shot that hit the post, we had a shot with Bruno’s goalkeeper save.
“After they scored, I felt like we had more ball, more pressure, but we still couldn’t create enough. Possession doesn’t count, but in the first half they had a lot more possession of the ball than we did.
“We looked dangerous on the fast break, but Marcus was either offside or the ball was a little late a couple of times.”
Solskjaer also rejected the claim that United have a key area of concern hanging over their track record.