Everton v Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man Utd ‘desperate’ to win a trophy

Everton v Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man Utd ‘desperate’ to win a trophy

Everton v Manchester United in the Premier League in November
Manchester United beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park when the two sides met in the Premier League in November

Manchester United are “desperate to get our hands on a trophy”, says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United, who play at Everton in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday (20:00 GMT kick-off), last lifted silverware when Jose Mourinho’s side won the Europa League in 2017.

Solskjaer, who won nine major trophies as a player with United, saw his side lose in three semi-finals in 2019-20.

“We want to improve and we’re expected to win trophies,” said the Norwegian.

“To improve on last year is to get to the final – and when you get there, there’s only one thing that matters: to lift the trophy.

“It’s really important we try to get our hands on silverware. We haven’t won in the last two or three years now and it’s important.

“We are desperate to get our hands on a trophy; these players are desperate to learn how to win.”

Everton have not won a major trophy since the FA Cup in 1994-95 and have not played in a semi-final since 2016.

United and Everton go into Wednesday’s match level on points in the Premier League, in third and fourth place respectively.

“We give a lot of importance to this competition,” said Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti.

“Everton have never won it and we are two games from the final, so it would be fantastic to play a final if possible. It is a great opportunity.

“United are doing well in the Premier League and have players of top, top quality.”

With Everton in a tier-two area under the government’s coronavirus restrictions, the tie will be watched by 2,000 fans at Goodison Park.

Rodriguez unavailable for Everton – team news

Everton midfielder James Rodriguez remains absent because of a calf injury that has seen him miss the past three matches, although he has returned to individual training.

“We are sad because James is an important player for us, but if he is not able to play, if he is not ready, we cannot push and force him to come back,” said Ancelotti on Tuesday.

“He is working individually so he has to start working with the team before he starts to play. We are going to put out our strongest team.”

United midfielder Jesse Lingard, who has not played since September’s 3-0 win over Brighton in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, is set to return to the squad, while forward Mason Greenwood may start.

“Jesse’s been working hard in training,” added Solskjaer. “He’s been unfortunate with having to isolate a few times, been in contact, or close contact with Covid, not even having it himself.

“He’s been very unlucky being away from the training ground a few times. He works really hard and he’ll be involved in the squad, definitely.

“Mason’s fit enough to play. He was on the bench [against Leeds on Sunday] – he will be involved in the squad unless something happens.

“Edinson [Cavani] has been out with an injury for a while. We need to get him going and Bruno [Fernandes] is one I also have to protect.”

Top-scoring Toffees – the stats

  • The last League Cup meeting between Everton and Manchester United was back in November 1993 in the fourth round, with the Red Devils winning 2-0 at Goodison Park.
  • Manchester United are looking to win consecutive away matches against Everton for the first time since September 2007 (three in a row), while the Red Devils have only beaten the Toffees away from home twice in one season once before – in 1993-94 (in the league and the League Cup).
  • Everton have reached the League Cup quarter-finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1987-88. They lost to Leicester City on penalties after a 2-2 draw with at this stage last term.
  • United are looking to reach the League Cup semi-finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2009-10.
  • Everton are the top-scoring team in this season’s competition, with 12 goals.
  • Since the start of 2017-18, only Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (10) has scored more EFL Cup goals than Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford (seven).
  • United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won all six of his away matches in the competition, including two while in charge of Cardiff City.

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