Solskjaer seeks protection against tactical fouls ahead of City clash
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes that his players have been frequent victims of tactical fouls this season, and has called for protection from referees ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Manchester City.
Before their last derby meeting in 2019, Solskjaer hinted that City’s characteristic late tackles were a deliberate ploy to slow down their opposition. However, Man City boss Pep Guardiola denied the claim. Both sides are set for a crunch encounter on Tuesday night in the semi-final first leg of their Carabao Cup tie at Old Trafford.
According to Solskjaer, Man City’s blueprint for stopping Man United’s attackers have also been copied by other teams in the Premier League this season, with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Daniel James, and Anthony Martial being targetted the most due to the problems they cause with their transition speed.
“That’s a big thing and sometimes I look at the referees and I look at our games and even if they are just little fouls there have been teams who have stopped us with those little fouls, which has stopped us showing how good we are when we attack,” the Norwegian head coach stated in a press conference.
“But I didn’t raise it [the subject of tactical fouling] this time, you did!”
Solskjaer added: “There have been a few fouls on Dan James and I am better off not talking about it but the referees have got to look at when players with his pace, even if they just knock the ball past them, they [opponents] stop them in their tracks. Of course, it is yellow cards [that should be issued].”
After the City game, Man United will face Norwich at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday. They currently sit fifth in the Premier League and cannot afford to lose points as they push for a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.