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Miserable Manchester United once again fall short in trophy hunt after FA Cup elimination

Manchester United lost 3-1 to Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals
Manchester United lost 3-1 to Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals
ANALYST
Modified 22 Mar 2021
Feature

The chain of emotions for most Manchester United fans seems to have followed a similar pattern, at least for the last four and a half years.

They get their hopes up after a decent run, then they start to believe that the club is creating something special. All that hope, however, soon dissipates into disappointment when reality dawns on them and the team’s cracks are exposed.

The sequence then starts again and ends with the same outcome. For the better part of the last four years, this has been the case at Manchester United and nothing has changed since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment.

Despite spending millions of euros on transfers, the Red Devils have still not built a winsome side and are currently far away from being contenders in England and Europe.

Reds fall short again in trophy hunt

Manchester United suffered their latest disappointment after getting booted out of the FA Cup by Leicester City on Sunday. This was supposed to be their most realistic chance of winning a trophy, but it’s now gone.

The 3-1 result paints the perfect picture of how the Foxes dominated the game and were the better team for larger parts. In truth, though, it could have been worse for Solskjaer’s side.

Manchester United were completely outplayed from the start and were second best in every duel. They lacked intensity, were sloppy and couldn’t match the energy levels of the Leicester players.

It is gradually shaping up to be another trophyless season for the Reds, who haven’t won any major silverware since 2017. Having lost in three semi-finals last season, it is looking like the current campaign won’t be any different.

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As it stands, the Europa League is now Manchester United’s only remaining chance of ending the season with a trophy.

But on the evidence of their performance in high-pressure matches, it will not be far-fetched to suggest they’ll bottle that one too.

Solskjaer’s unreasonable team selection costs Manchester United

Solskjaer has undoubtedly improved Manchester United since taking charge, but every passing week proves he’s not the man to lead the club to trophies.

Why an elite manager would choose to rest his key players for a big game ahead of the international break is beyond anyone’s comprehension. And yet, that is exactly what Solskjaer did.

While Leicester realized the importance of the FA Cup quarter-final and played their best XI, the Norwegian decided to rest Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw and rather played most of his fringe players.

It was the usual excuse at the end of the game, with the Manchester United boss insisting he’d play the same team if he had another chance.

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"The accumulation of games has caught up with us. We picked a team that we felt would win the game or give us a foundation to win the game, players like Donny and Paul wouldn't,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
"You're always disappointed at the end of the line in a cup run. We couldn't find the normal spark, brightness and energy. All the games have maybe caught up with us. Thursday was a big night for us. Today we didn't have that zip you need to create chances and stop goals."

Solskjaer clearly let his side down by unreasonably playing a weakened side ahead of the international break.

He may be reluctant to admit his mistake but everyone can see through his excuses and such decisions are part of the reason why the Reds haven’t won anything in a long while.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 16:36 IST
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