Solskjaer 'sorry' as Manchester prepares for decisive city derby

Tuesday, 2019-04-23 06:28:14
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apologises to fans after Everton thrashing. (Photo: Manchester United)
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Wednesday promises to be perhaps the most decisive night in the race for both the Premier League title and Champions League qualification, as Manchester City cross town to play local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The game comes with City two points behind league leaders Liverpool, who have played one game more, and a win in the 'Theatre of Dreams' would put Pep Guardiola's side a point clear of their title rivals with just three games left to play.

Meanwhile, Manchester United currently lie sixth in the table, two points behind Arsenal and Chelsea and three behind third-placed Tottenham. Their rivals all have midweek games and United must beat their neighbours if they want to return to the Champions League next season.

It has been a horrible week for United, with a 3-0 defeat away to Barcelona seeing them crash out of this season's Champions League with barely a whimper last Tuesday, while Sunday afternoon saw them at their lowest ebb for a long time as they capitulated to a humiliating 4-0 defeat away to Everton.

That defeat means United have lost five consecutive away games for the first time since 1981, and the 'Solskjaer effect' seems to have well and truly worn off.

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville described the defeat as 'rancid' on TV, while Solskjaer also held up his hands to apologise for the result and the performance.

"Everything went wrong today, we just didn't perform, and we were beaten all over the pitch on the basics," said the coach.

"We weren't good enough, it was not worthy of a Man United team. We have to hold our hands up and apologize on behalf of the club to the fans as they were the only ones with the badge who could hold their heads up and say they were Manchester United."

"My message them at the end was sorry, because they were class, and they always are, while we have to realise that talent has never been enough," he said in a clear criticism of the attitude of some players.

The coach said he hoped Wednesday's game against their local rivals would spark a reaction.

"It's a perfect chance to show everyone what we are all about against Man City," said Solskjaer.

Meanwhile, Manchester City will be without Kevin de Bruyne on Wednesday, as the Belgian suffered another muscle injury in a season plagued by physical issues.