Manchester United were outfoxed by Manchester City on their own home turf on Wednesday night, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a lot of work to do as the club’s wait for silverware continues.
Goals from City duo John Stones and Fernandinho dumped the Red Devils out of the Carabao Cup semi-final, as Pep Guardiola’s side set up a Wembley clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
Hunting their first trophy since 2017, Solskjaer’s side seemed to have shrugged off early pressure from City after Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford both squandered chances. But poor set-piece defending ultimately proved to be their undoing when Harry Maguire failed to deal with a free-kick from Phil Foden – Stones bundling home from close range to give City the lead.
And their suspect defence came back to haunt them after Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka combined only to clear the ball as far as the edge of the box for Fernandinho to hit the ball first time into the back of the net.
Several players were at fault for the sub-par performance, none more so than United left-back Luke Shaw, who arrived at Old Trafford from Southampton for £27m in 2014. He reportedly earns around £150,000-per-week, as per Spotrac.
SofaScore graded the 25-year-old as the worst player on the pitch by a country mile with a miserable 6.2 rating – he lost possession 16 times, failed to win any of his duels from six attempts, was dribbled past once and committed two fouls.
The Manchester Evening News gave Shaw a low grade of 5/10 and claimed he ‘let Stones go for the goal,’ while The Sun were equally scathing in their assessment, insisting ‘he found himself tucked in centrally and was often a passenger on the break.’
Not only did he look lethargic, but he was also uncharacteristically lightweight as well with his teammates Fernandes and Paul Pogba managing more tackles between them, as per SofaScore.
After Alex Telles’ arrival in the summer, Shaw may have been forgiven for feeling a little threatened. But his latest shocking display may have given him more reason to do so and he ought to be nervously looking over his shoulder after he suffered a horror show against Guardiola’s side.
United have now lost four cup semi-finals in the past 12 months following yet another semi-final defeat at the hands of City in the Carabao Cup. With a trip to Liverpool on the horizon, this could be Shaw’s last start for quite some time after this latest showing.
AND in other news, Manchester United could find their next Nemanja Vidic…