MAN UTD 0-2 MAN CITY
This was a game bristling with quality. But it’s our fourth semi-final defeat in a year for Ole’s men. And City took their chances when it mattered backed by a rock solid defence.
The first goal always looked crucial and John Stones stole in at the far post to convert Phil Foden’s 50th minute free kick to punish static defending.
United had matched City stride for stride in the first half, which exploded into life with 3 efforts ruled out by offside in the opening minutes.
Stones was lucky to be rescued by offside when he bundled the ball into own net inside 2 minutes. But that was his only mistake.
Once the visitors had the lead United lacked the power to penetrate a stubborn defence marshalled by Stones. And this was a City side back to their best.
Mason Greenwood replaced Scott McTominay on 75 minutes, pushing Paul Pogba back into a deeper midfield role.
But Martial, Rashford and Greenwood could not find a way through. City’s defence held firm and we lacked the cutting edge despite some good moments.
When Fernandinho struck the killer blow with a stunning 83rd minute shot from distance following a corner that wasn’t cleared City celebrated the win.
Donny van de Beek came on with three minutes remaining to replace Fred. But the game was already done.
United put in a valiant effort that fell short in the decisive moments and that’s the difference at the elite level.
Truth is City deserved their win which Stones dedicated to the memory of Colin Bell who passed away yesterday.
Concluded Ole: “When you concede two set plays we’re very disappointed.”
Honest Solskjaer admitted: “We weren’t good enough.”
But he added: “We’re getting closer. This is a much better version of United than a year ago. “
- JOHN GUBBA