Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains why Juan Mata did not take the free kick during Man City vs Man Utd in the 2nd Semi-final of the Carabao Cup.
Manchester United took on Manchester City in the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night. The Red Devils surprisingly won the match at the Etihad. However, they lost the semi-final to their local rivals on an aggregate score of 2-3.
United entered the match with a 2-goal deficit having lost the first semi-final 3-1 at the Old Trafford. However, by the 35th a stunning volley from Nemanja Matic reduced the gap to a single goal. United won the match 1-0 but had a very good chance in the 87th minute to level with City’s aggregate and take the game to penalties.
Nicolas Otamendi’s lunge at Harry Maguire just outside the box earned United a free kick. Many had expected Juan Mata to take the kick from spot. Instead, it was Fred, who has only scored once for the club, who took the shot and eventually missed.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains why Juan Mata did not take the free kick during Man City vs Man Utd
After the match, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that he had actually instructed Mata to take the spot kick and explained why his players disregarded his direction.
“Juan is the best one when he feels like it,” said Solskjaer.
“But they practised yesterday [Tuesday], Juan told me Fred was unbelievable in training yesterday, he scored six or seven on the bounce and they both felt it was his moment.
“That was a decision they made there and then. Probably the right decision, [it] just didn’t work out well.”
“Mata’s one of the best free kick takers from 20 yards” 👏
“The players had a free kick competition apparently & Fred scored 6 or 7” 👀
“It may have been the moment to get us to penalties”😔
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 30, 2020
The free kick would prove to be United’s last threat on goal. With United down to 10 men after a red card to Matic, City managed to hold on to their one goal lead and booked a place in the Carabao Cup final.
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