Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side got beat by 3 goals to 1 against Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup last night. His team was trash.
Solskjaer made five changes from the team that had won 0-2 against Crystal Palace during the week.
Not only did he make alterations to the team, he decided to make adjustments to the setup too. Abandoning the 4-2-3-1 formation and starting with a 5-3-2.
After claiming “We picked a team to give us a best possible opportunity to go through in the cup…” He admitted that his team selection “didn’t work”
“We picked a team to give us a best possible opportunity to go through in the cup and be ready for Wednesday [against West Ham]. It didn’t work today. We had to change things at half-time when Eric came off but that will stand us in good stead for Wednesday. I picked the team today to go through.”
Before this loss, Manchester United shit didn’t stink. They were 19 games unbeaten and played their best football post-lockdown. Going on a run of 6 wins, 2 draws, and 0 defeats. Apart from the first game back against Spurs and an FA Cup quarterfinal game versus Norwich City, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played with the same eleven.
The team was free-flowing and scoring goals for fun. This is why it came as a surprise to many when Ole changed the team and system so drastically for such a big game.
“Everyone has to perform and everyone has a chance to stake a claim,” Solskjaer said defending his decision to field his B team.
The B Team
Manchester United’s first team has been brilliant but things most often fall apart once the substitutes are introduced. Players like Fred, Williams, and McTominay, who all have had great seasons pre-lockdown, now look like they should be playing for Norwich. And their goalkeeper…. Don’t get me started on David De Gea…
“David knows he should have saved the second goal, but that’s done now. It’s hard for a goalkeeper to make amends. It’s so much easier for outfield players. He showed in the rest of the game that he made a few good saves but David knows he should have saved that one.”
David De Gea was at fault for the first two goals and should have done better on the third. De Gea has been bad for a couple of years now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to make difficult decisions on the goalkeeping position.
United may have been overhyped. Chelsea were the first decent team they played against post-lockdown and they made them look average. Manchester United supporters should keep faith in their attacking talent. But their manager, defence, and goalkeeper shouldn’t inspire much confidence going forward.