OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is adamant Manchester United do not have a psychological problem in semi-finals.
The Red Devils boss suffered a fourth successive last-four cup exit last night as the noisy neighbours across Manchester KO’d them 2-0.
It means Solskjaer now has the unwanted record of losing as many domestic semi-finals in the last 12 months as Sir Alex Ferguson did during his 26 years as United boss.
The legendary Scot won 24 major pieces of silverware at Old Trafford including 13 league titles.
Last night was also the second Carabao Cup semi defeat by City in the last year, while United also failed to beat Chelsea in the FA Cup and Sevilla in the Europa League at the same stage last season.
But Solskjaer, whose side went down to second-half goals from John Stones and Fernandinho at Old Trafford, does not believe the semi-final curse is a mental issue.
The Norwegian said: “It is not psychological. You meet good teams in the semis and at the moment they are the best team in England and we did not have enough. I don’t think it’s a mental issue.
“We played a really good Man City team. When they play well, you have to play really well to beat them.
“That is the reality of where we are at. We are getting closer. This is a much better United compared to a year ago in that semi.
“That is positive but that is not enough. Tonight it was about that lack of quality compared to them.
“When you get to this stage of a competition, you are always playing against the better teams and it is fine margins.
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“So I repeat, it’s not a mental thing. We need to be better, that’s it.
“It comes down to having the right practices, some habits and some desire at times.”
Solskjaer’s biggest moan was the way Stones and Fernandinho scored from set-pieces.
United centre-back duo Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire failed to react from Phil Foden’s free-kick and Stones bundled home with his thigh.
Then Anthony Martial’s poor defensive header and a clearance from Aaron Wan-Bissaka only found Fernandinho, who produced a sweet volley from just outside the penalty area.
Solskjaer fumed: “City can score many great goals and you can accept that but when you concede two from set-plays it is very disappointing.
“If they carve you open, that’s one way of losing, but to concede from two set-pieces . . . we just were not good enough.”
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