MANCHESTER: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola both believe their Carabao Cup semi-final is not over, despite Manchester City’s 3-1 victory at Manchester United in the first leg.
United boss Solskjaer admits his side still have a “steep mountain to climb” despite Marcus Rashford’s consolation goal while Guardiola insisted City still had work to do to reach Wembley.
United won in the league at the Etihad a month ago but on the basis of their performance at Old Trafford – 45 minutes which Solskjaer described as the worst of his reign – they will have to considerably improve if they are to stand a chance of making it to the final on March 1.
“Of course it is a difficult task we have in front of us but that second half at least gave us something to hang on to,” said Solskjaer.
“From their first goal to half-time was the worst we’ve played, before then it could have gone either way with a goal.
“You come in at half-time with that result pride is the one word you speak about. Make sure you win the second half and you are in the tie.
“Even though it’s a steep mountain to climb but we can still climb it and we just have to look forward.”
Guardiola’s side, winners of the competition for the past two seasons, were outstanding as they swept into a commanding lead with three goals inside the opening 38 minutes at Old Trafford, but Rashford’s 70th-minute goal gave United slim hope for the second leg.
Guardiola said: “We played good in the first half. You cannot expect to come here and score four or five goals in 45 minutes, but 0-3 is good enough.
“But of course they have pride. They are United. That reaction is normal in front of these people.
“It was a good result for us but I take note about what happened in the second half for the second leg in three weeks.
“This is not three points. It is not done. Last season they lost 0-2 against PSG and then they went to France and qualified.
“Everything can happen in football and I know after what happened in the second half they are a dangerous team. I’ve spoken to the players and told them it’s not over.”