Solskjaer does not regret EFL Cup 'risk' as Man Utd crash out

By Sports Desk September 22, 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged he took a "risk" with his Manchester United team selection in the EFL Cup, but he defended the approach despite a defeat to West Ham.

United had beaten the Hammers in dramatic fashion in the Premier League on Sunday but lost 1-0 in Wednesday's third-round cup tie at Old Trafford.

Manuel Lanzini's early goal proved the difference, with United failing to turn their 61 per cent possession and 27 attempts into an equaliser.

While Solskjaer's side remain competitive in the league – level atop the Premier League alongside Chelsea and Liverpool, this defeat extends their wait for silverware, having last lifted a trophy in the 2016-17 Europa League.

Solskjaer gambled with United's involvement in the competition, though, making 11 changes, even if this was also a very different West Ham team from the previous clash at London Stadium.

"Twenty-seven shots shows everyone gave it a good go," United manager Solskjaer said. "I can't fault the attitude at all.

"A little bit of good fortune could have gone our way, and a little more quality, maybe a decision here or there [that] we don't seem to get at the moment.

"It's a clear penalty for Jesse [Lingard] again, Mark Noble falls and pulls him down. You can't dwell too much on that.

"I've never actually won this tournament – that hunt will have to keep going, because it's a trophy I'd like to have.

"But we have to make decisions to get the squad up to speed for the rest of the season. Sometimes you have to make changes, take risks, and we did."

He added: "Every game is important, but you can see by the team selection that we've always used this competition – when I've been here at the club – to give minutes for the ones who need it, because we know it's a very long season."

West Ham face EFL Cup holders Manchester City in the fourth round.

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    - Arsenal's bid to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic looks to have hit a roadblock with the Serbian only interested in joining Juventus, reports the Mail.

    - Milan want to bolster their backline and are interested in a loan deal for Tottenham's Japhet Tanganga, claims Fabrizio Romano.

    - Leicester City and Newcastle United may rival Brentford to sign Inter's Christian Eriksen, reports the Times.

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