Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his players 'gave their all' after Manchester United narrowly lose to West Ham
Image courtesy of Sebastian Bozon / Getty Images

Manchester United faced West Ham United on Wednesday evening in the Carabao Cup third round but it was the visitors who progressed in the competition thanks to a ninth minute goal from Manuel Lanzini.

Tonight's result was huge for David Moyes' men as the sour taste of defeat from Sunday's encounter will no longer be lingering across their camp.

For United, however, the result can be seen as a missed opportunity, with the Carabao Cup serving as a good opportunity for The Red Devils to end their ever-increasing wait for a trophy.

The visitors started the brightest and found themselves a goal up after Ryan Fredericks nutmegged Alex Telles before pulling the ball back for Lanzini to slot home.

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United struggled to get back into the game and didn't work Alphonse Areola – the only notable moment of the first half for the home side was when Juan Mata struck the bar following a corner.

After fielding a weakened team, Solskjaer opted to bring on Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Elanga in the final thirty minutes to push for a equaliser.

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United upped the tempo and looked a lot more dangerous, with Greenwood himself and Jadon Sancho both coming close.

Unfortunately for the red side of Manchester, their side didn't possess that cutting edge that is needed in a cagey fixture like this – whilst West Ham defended resolutely and could have nicked an extra goal or two in the final minutes through Mark Noble and Andriy Yarmolenko.

  • United have missed out on a trophy opportunity

Despite the Carabao Cup not bearing as much importance as other competitions in the eyes of many, Wednesday's loss sees one opportunity for a trophy this season squandered.

Solskajer reiterated that this competition is important to give a range of players minutes but ultimately the aim was to win:

"Every game is important but, you know, I think you can see by the team's selection that we have always used this competition – while I've been here – to give minutes to those who need it because we know it's a very very long season.

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"I've never actually won this tournament so that hunt will have to keep on going because it is a trophy that we would like to have but we have to make decisions to have the squad up to speed for the rest of the season.

"Sometimes you have to take risks and make decisions and we did," he added.

  • The team didn't play too badly

Although West Ham were victorious on Wednesday evening, Solskjaer was still optimistic about his side's performance.

It was far from the perfect display but the United boss felt the result could have easily been different:

"We started the game poorly and ended the game too open but we had to go for it. We had 27 shots which shows that everyone gave a good go. I can't fault the attitude at all, I was really pleased with the attitude.

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"A little bit of good fortune and it could have gone our way, a little bit of good quality and maybe a decision here or there that we don't seem to get at the moment," Solskjaer said.

 

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