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

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By James Ducker NORTH­ERN FOOT­BALL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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.”

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