De Gea future in doubt after horror show
Solskjaer warns Spaniard after Cup errors cost United Chelsea take full advantage to set up an all-London final
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned David De Gea that he would have to raise his game after Chelsea took advantage of another error-strewn display from the Manchester United goalkeeper to cruise into the final of the FA Cup.
De Gea committed a howler for Chelsea’s second goal when he allowed Mason Mount’s shot to squirm past him and was partly at fault for the first and third goals.
United’s 18-match unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt as they were pulled apart 3-1 in a one-sided semi-final at Wembley.
Chelsea will now face Arsenal, who were 2-0 victors over Manchester City 24 hours earlier, in an all-London final on Aug 1.
On a miserable day for United, defender Eric Bailly was taken to hospital with a cut head and suspected concussion after a collision with team-mate Harry Maguire, three minutes after another clash of heads with Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma.
Bailly, who had stumbled after trying to get back to his feet following the second incident, was treated on the pitch for eight minutes at the end of the first half before being taken off on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask and neck brace.
Chelsea took the lead shortly after Bailly’s departure when Olivier Giroud capitalised on lax defending from Victor Lindelof to turn in a cross and beat De Gea too easily.
De Gea’s blunder for the second goal evoked memories of a similar gaffe against Tottenham last month.
Asked if De Gea’s place was going to come under threat, Solskjaer said: “Obviously everyone has to perform and everyone has a chance every time we perform to stake a claim in the team.
“David knows he should have saved the second goal but that’s done now. I can’t speak for David De Gea’s confidence but he is mentally very strong. He knows he should save that one 100 times out of 100 but that’s football for you. Mentally he was ready.”
The only positive for Solskjaer was top-four rivals Leicester City’s 3-0 defeat by Tottenham. And the United manager – who defended his decision to switch to a back three – demanded a reaction against West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday in the pursuit of Champions League qualification.
He said the extra 48 hours’ rest Chelsea had was “no excuse”, adding: “There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves, we have two games this week, then the Europa League. We will get our heads ready and our legs ready and go again.
“We’ve got loads of things to learn as a team but we are developing. This was a knock, confidencewise, of course. We picked the team today to give us the best possible opportunity to go through in the Cup and be ready for Wednesday. It didn’t work.”