The Norwegian has asked his side to remember the famous fightback they pulled off last year when he was still the club’s interim manager
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called for his team to summon the spirit of last season’s famous comeback against Paris Saint-Germain after a first-leg defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
United fell 3-1 to their city rivals at Old Trafford on Tuesday, as Pep Guardiola’s men took a commanding lead ahead of the semi-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium on January 29.
Solskjaer’s side were undone by a disastrous opening to the game that saw them concede three first-half goals at home for the first time since May 1997.
Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an own goal from Andreas Pereira put City up by three and led to plenty of frustration for the home side’s manager, though United did put in an improved second-half performance and scored a goal through Marcus Rashford.
“From their first goal and especially the second we struggled to get to grips with them,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “A good reaction second half, but first half until they scored it was back and forth. We didn’t cope with the setback well enough.
“We didn’t deal with their system well enough, we know they can play that way. They played that way last season and beat Chelsea 5-0.
“First goal there is nothing we can do, second is sloppy and the third we just didn’t recover.”
Solskjaer said the introduction of Nemanja Matic – who has played sparingly this season – at half-time helped United gain more control over the game.
“With Matic and his experience he had more presence. It was more about wanting the ball and believing, passing the ball. Someone needed to take responsibility,” the Norwegian said.
With United facing long odds to reach the final, Solskjaer urged his side to remember a famous comeback they pulled off last year when he was still the club’s interim manager.
Solskjaer’s men looked doomed against PSG in the Champions League last 16 after they lost the first leg 2-0 at Old Trafford.
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Facing long odds, United stunned the Ligue 1 champions at Parc des Princes in the second leg with a 3-1 victory, going through on away goals to the quarter-final where they eventually fell to Barcelona.
“We’ve shown before we have been down from a home tie and turned it around,” Solskjaer said.
“PSG is the latest example and we have to believe that we can put on a performance.”