Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Manchester United missed Edinson Cavani’s ability to cause “havoc” in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat.
United lost to Manchester City in the semi-finals after second-half goals from John Stones and Fernandinho. Indeed, City’s win came amid their long list of absentees due to coronavirus.
The Red Devils, meanwhile, started Anthony Martial up front with Cavani out due to his suspension.
The FA handed the Uruguayan a three-match ban on New Year’s Eve for a social media post in November.
In the 33-year-old’s absence, Martial had a few half-chances but rarely tested the City defence.
And Solskjaer said after the game (via Twitter): “Edinson could have caused some havoc in there with his movement and presence in the box.”
The defeat was a rare one on English soil for United. Indeed, it was their first in 11 games in domestic competitions, stretching back to the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at the start of November.
However, they remain unbeaten in 10 Premier League matches ahead of next Tuesday’s clash with Burnley.
The Red Devils can go ahead of leaders Liverpool with victory at Turf Moor before next Sunday’s mouthwatering trip to Anfield.
Elsewhere in his comments after their defeat to City, meanwhile, Solskjaer defended midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
Solskjaer offers Fernandes support
In a rare off night for the Portugal international, he was unable to spark the hosts into life against Pep Guardiola’s men.
But his manager insisted that his teammates must also chip in with key moments.
“It’s not just about Bruno not finding inspiration,” Solskjaer said (via the Manchester Evening News). “It’s about the whole team creating chances and when you play against good teams – Man City played well tonight – you have to be spot on and you have to earn the right to create chances.
“We had some moments in the first-half on the break, second-half it was more about pressure but we didn’t create big chances. Anthony had a couple of half-decent ones but we just didn’t have enough in the last pass or last finish.
“I felt first-half we defended really well, they posed us some problems but we kept them away from our goal quite well. They had one shot that hit the post, we had one shot with the save from the keeper from Bruno.
“After they scored, I felt we had more of the ball, more of the pressure but still couldn’t create enough. Possession counts for nothing but first-half they had a lot more possession of the ball than we had.
“We looked dangerous on the counter-attack but Marcus was offside or the ball came a little bit late a couple of times.”
Solskjaer also rejected the claim that United have a key area of concern hanging over their record.