Paul Pogba has warned Manchester United they will continue to fall short of winning the “big stuff” if they do not improve on “details” after losing to Manchester City in the EFL Cup semi-final thanks to two set-pieces.
City became only the second side to reach four successive finals in the competition on Wednesday, while it was a third semi-final elimination in four EFL Cup campaigns for United.
On top of that, it was a fourth consecutive semi-final defeat for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer across all competitions, having fallen to City in the same competition in 2019-20 as well as losing to Chelsea and Sevilla in the FA Cup and Europa League respectively.
United have made undoubted progress under Solskjaer, as evidenced by the fact a point against Burnley next Tuesday will take them top of the Premier League for the first time since the opening day of the 2018-19 season – their 2-1 win over Leicester City was the only game that day.
But Pogba has warned United they will not win the biggest matches if they do not sharpen up around certain situations, with City’s two goals on Wednesday coming from dead-ball situations.
Speaking to MUTV, the France international said: “It is disappointing because it is not the first one against City at home. We are disappointed with the result, obviously, with the two goals from set-pieces.
“It is very annoying to lose because there is a trophy behind all of this. We have to do better, we have to do better for sure. It is about details.
4 – Manchester United have been eliminated from all four semi-finals they’ve contested under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (League Cup x2, FA Cup and Europa League). Hurdle. pic.twitter.com/JqSD8kjscp
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 6, 2021
“Details make the difference all of the time and now when it is big games like this, it is details and at set-pieces we lost. We have to learn because it is not the first time.
“We have to learn, we have to get through this because, after this, there are big games coming up. Next time, we will do better, we will do better.
“We are improving. Last year they [City] were obviously more dominant and they dominated us [in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final]. That wasn’t the case [this time], so obviously we are improving.
“We are improving in the league and, even though we lost in the semi-final, we are still going far and that is what we want. But now it is about details. It is good to improve but we have to go to the next step now, all of us.”
Up next for United at the weekend is an FA Cup clash with Championship side Watford, before then going to Burnley for their rearranged fixture from the start of the season on Tuesday, and a top-of-the-table showdown with Liverpool follows that.
Pogba looked to remind the team that they cannot afford to mope in the wake of defeat to City given the importance of the games on the horizon.
“There is no time to be disappointed for a week because we know where we are. We are in a good position now. We don’t have time to be disappointed. We don’t have the time. We will get through this and we will go again,” he added.
“It is difficult, and it is going to be difficult, and you learn from these games. It is going to hopefully help us to get through, to get better and to have a positive result in the next games.
“Football and playing for Man United is not easy, it will never be easy, but it makes the victory prettier and more beautiful when we get through a tough time, then we get through this.
“It is beautiful, and you get the emotion. That is all we want. That is what the fan wants, that is what the team wants, everyone wants this. The club is built on winning and big things, so that is all we want to get – the big stuff.”
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