Manchester United 0-2 Cardiff City: 5 Men who cost United the game
Manchester United welcomed Cardiff City to Old Trafford on a day where all eyes were on Liverpool and Manchester City. Sadly for United, they were out of the title race long ago and had no involvement in the top four race anymore either. Solskjaer's men hardly had anything but pride on their minds as they prepared for the final day of the season.
For Solskjaer though, the day had a bittersweet feel about it. He was up against the first club he managed in the Premier League, Cardiff City and they were also the first opposition for him as a United manager. The Red Devils blew the same opponents away with a 5-1 scoreline in the Norwegian's first game in charge. Solskjaer would have loved a repeat of the same scoreline, to finish the season on a high.
Perhaps as a sign of things to come, Solskjaer opted for an influx of youth in his final team of the season. He started with de Gea in goal, with Dalot, Smalling, Jones and Young making up the back four. The midfield consisted of Andreas Pereira, Scot McTominay and Paul Pogba. Up front, Solskjaer opted for Lingard, Greenwood and Rashford.
United started the game very well but were unfortunate to give away a penalty in the 23rd minute. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing scored from the spot to give Cardiff a lead, against the run of the play. United rallied, but failed to find a breakthrough and were 2-0 down in the 54th minute when Mendez-Laing scored again. The game ended 2-0, ensuring a sad end to the season for Solskjaer.
His team failed to turn up for the game, but Solskjaer will be extremely disappointed with the performance of these 5 men.
#5 Chris Smalling
The Englishman started alongside Phil Jones as Solskjaer reverted back to his most experienced centre back pair for the final game of the season. However, Smalling hardly justified his selection and was extremely poor on the night.
Even though United started the game brighter, every time Cardiff came knocking, United looked vulnerable at the back. Smalling was especially guilty with his poor positioning which put United in awkward situations. He was also appalling with the ball at his feet and his distribution from the back left a lot to be desired.
His position ultimately cost United the second goal and cost them the game.