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Why Manchester United cannot afford to lose against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semis 

Manchester United will face Manchester City in the 2020-21 Carabao Cup semi-final.
Manchester United will face Manchester City in the 2020-21 Carabao Cup semi-final.
ANALYST
Modified 06 Jan 2021
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The last 12 months have seen Manchester United play some of the best football they’ve ever played in the post-Ferguson era. The Red Devils made three semi-finals in 2020 and have started 2021 on a strong note.

However, a trophy has been conspicuous by its absence. Despite the progress Manchester United have made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the fans would love to see some silverware.

Manchester United are currently in contention for four trophies, but their most-realistic chance of winning silverware lies in the Carabao Cup, where they have a semi-final clash against rivals Manchester City on Wednesday.

Last season, Manchester United reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League but lost in all three matches. However, it was Pep Guardiola’s side that knocked the beleaguered Reds out of the Carabao Cup.

"There are no excuses," says Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

With the two Manchester clubs all set to renew acquaintances once again at the same stage of the competition, the Reds will look for a better result, as Solskjaer has already emphasised the importance of winning a trophy this season.

Manchester United have now gone three seasons without winning any piece of silverware, but they have a chance to end their trophy drought at the Carabao Cup.

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“The next game is always important, but a semi-final is always very important, and a chance to get to the final and to get your hands on a trophy in the next round,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Manutd.com.

The Manchester United manager continued in this regard:

“For this team, it would be a very big step, getting your hands on a trophy. We’ve developed a lot in the last six months or 12 months from the last Carabao Cup semi-final. It’s not just learning to win semis; we’ve also earned the right to feel we can go all the way with our performances. We’re confident; we go into the game in form. There are no excuses.”

After three years of not winning anything, Manchester United could be the more hungrier of the two teams to win this game.

Defeat to City would be a blot in Manchester United’s fine season

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Solskjaer’s side has so far enjoyed a fine form both in the 2020-21 Premier League and the Cup games following a poor start to the season. The Reds are currently joint-top of the Premier League table and have a game in hand.

However, a defeat could arrest their winning run and kickstart a sequence of indifferent results.

A case in point is Chelsea. The Blues had gone 15 games unbeaten before losing to Everton and have since struggled to regain their form. Manchester United will look to avoid that by progressing to the Carabao Cup final. They have all the momentum going into the game.

Published 06 Jan 2021, 13:52 IST
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