Ole ex­cited by ‘fan­tas­tic’ Blues draw

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By SA­MUEL LUCK­HURST

OLE Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer says the derby League Cup semi-fi­nals will be ‘fan­tas­tic’ for Manch­ester but has hinted that United could change their ap­proach against City.

The Reds were drawn with City in the last four last night af­ter they beat League Two team Colch­ester United at Old Traf­ford, and will host City on Jan­uary 7 or 8.

Although United have not beaten the Blues at home since April 2015, they have won two of the last three at the Eti­had and drew wide­spread praise for their 2-1 vic­tory at the cham­pi­ons ear­lier this month.

“Fan­tas­tic days in Manch­ester,” Sol­sk­jaer said of the draw. “We do re­ally re­spect them and, as I said af­ter the derby last time, it’s in my opin­ion the best team in England. They can out-foot­ball you. So we need to get our game heads on and be ready for them again, but we’ve shown them as well we can cause them prob­lems, So it’ll be two fan­tas­tic games.

“We’ve looked at that game [this month] and are very pleased with the re­sult, and parts of that game. There are things we need to do so much bet­ter.

“The first 10 min­utes I was like, you close your eyes and you think ‘we’ve just got to hang in there’. So we’ve got to stamp our author­ity more on them. There aren’t many that can do but we have to aim for that and strive for that.

“And you won’t beat City twice in a row or three times with the same tac­tics, so we’ll have to do some­thing bet­ter than we did last time be­cause I’m sure Pep will def­i­nitely have his team fired up.”

United failed to score in the first half against Colch­ester be­fore three goals from Mar­cus Rash­ford, An­thony Martial and an own goal in 10 min­utes shortly af­ter the restart se­cured vic­tory. Sol­sk­jaer still felt United were su­pe­rior in the goal­less half.

“I thought we played well in the first half but we were waste­ful,” he added. “We played miles bet­ter in the first half than the sec­ond half, but we scored and in games like this you need a first goal to set­tle any doubts and it’ll flow more.

“But we did okay ac­tu­ally, they kept a clean sheet against Palace and Tot­ten­ham, and we knew they’d be hard to break down, and in the end the first time they re­ally went for it, with the coun­ter­at­tack, that set­tled ev­ery­thing.”

Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer with as­sis­tant coach Michael Car­rick

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