Thursday 23 January 2020

We need to be protected from City's fouling, insists Solskjaer


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images via Reuters

James Ducker

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stoked the pre-match mind games with Manchester City by claiming his United side have become a target of frequent tactical fouling and called for more protection.

United face City in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Old Trafford tonight, having complained last season about the Premier League champions' use of tactical fouls. But manager Solskjaer believes the strategy is being more widely adopted against United as a means of trying to stop them attacking at pace through players such as Daniel James and Marcus Rashford.

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"There have been teams who have stopped us with those fouls, which has stopped us showing how good we are," the United boss said.

Solskjaer believes James, in particular, has been the victim of some rough treatment this season that has gone unpunished.


The winger was on the wrong end of heavy fouls during United's 2-0 win at Burnley over Christmas and in United's 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium last month - City midfielder Fernandinho escaped a yellow card after scything through James.

"There have been a few fouls on James and I am better off not talking about it, but the referees have got to look when players with his pace, they (the opponents) stop them in their tracks. It is yellow cards (that should be issued)."

Solskjaer is among a host of managers who have complained about City's perceived tactical fouling. Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer's predecessor as United manager, was the first to raise it and others, including Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp have also discussed it.

Domenec Torrent, Guardiola's former No 2 at City, hinted at their use of tactical fouling in an interview 18 months ago, but Guardiola insists he would never instruct his players to foul.

"I have never in my life had a meeting where I have talked to my players about tactical fouls," the City manager said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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