Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his club must eliminate the “pedestrian” starts from its game after an early goal from West Ham United’s Manuel Lanzini knocked United out of the League Cup in the third round on Wednesday.
Solskjaer made 11 changes to the United side that beat West Ham 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, but was frustrated by a largely ineffective performance as Lanzini’s goal in the ninth minute sent the visitors through.
“The first 10 minutes we were slow, pedestrian, both in possession and out of possession and that’s something we have to address,” Solskjaer told reporters.
“I wasn’t very pleased with the start at all … we can’t find ourselves in these situations and expect to get wins like we’ve done fantastically in the last year-and-a-half. But we need to start games better.”
Solskjaer also defended his decision to make the changes.
“You want to go through, but it’s a long season,” he told Sky Sports. “We’ve got big games coming up and that’s the decision we made.
“We’re at the start of the season. We know it’s going to be a long journey; Champions League, F.A. Cup, Premier League, we’ve got loads of games. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, trying to get results.”
West Ham, meanwhile, is moving on in the competition after holding on for its first win at Old Trafford since 2007. West Ham’s next opponent is defending champion Manchester City.
West Ham arrived at Old Trafford fresh off a 2-1 defeat on Saturday in which Jesse Lingard, who was on loan at West Ham last season, scored late on and then Mark Noble had a stoppage-time penalty saved by David de Gea.
But West Ham was the better side early on and took the lead when Ryan Fredericks cut the ball back for Lanzini to slot home.
United almost evened the score when Juan Mata hit the bar while Anthony Martial also wasted a great chance.
West Ham dug deep and should have buried United late with Andriy Yarmolenko, Noble and Jarrod Bowen all wasting golden opportunities, but in the end it did not matter.
“You want to go through but it is a long season, we gave it a good go,” Solskjaer said. “They got a goal and after that we played well for long periods, gave it a go and stats don’t mean anything. When you have 27 shots, the boys have given it a go.”
In other matches, Timo Werner scored his first goal of the season as a much-changed Chelsea side crept into the fourth round by beating Aston Villa 4-3 on penalties after the Stamford Bridge clash ended 1-1 on Wednesday.
Harry Kane was on target for Tottenham, but the club surrendered an early 2-0 lead at Wolverhampton Wanderers before winning 3-2 on penalties as manager Nuno Espirito Santo claimed his second win of the season against his former club.
Arsenal cruised into the fourth round with a 3-0 home win against third-tier AFC Wimbledon with Alexandre Lacazette scoring on his first start since April. Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah struck late on.
Arsenal will host Leeds United in round four while Leicester City set up a home tie with high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion thanks to a 2-0 win at Millwall.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.