Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bemoans Edinson Cavani's absence against Manchester City

Manchester United had only two absentees for the EFL Cup semi-final clash against Manchester City last night.

United also had two extra days of rest, which showed in the closing stages of the game with the Red Devils pushing forward in search of an equaliser but unable to find one.

Phil Jones has been missing all season but the other absent player, Edinson Cavani, could have been a gamechanger last night.

Solskjaer was asked about the impact of Cavani’s absence during his post-match press conference and admitted the Uruguayan could have made a real difference.

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“Any team would miss Edinson’s impact,” said Solskjaer.

“Because Edinson could have caused some havoc in there with his movement and his presence in the box.

“After they scored, we put some more pressure on them and started to build more momentum but just didn’t have that edge and extra quality to get the goal.

“It was a question of who do we put Mason (Greenwood) on for? It was a moment to wait for that one.”

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

The fact that it was only Bruno Fernandes who had a shot on target last night underlines United’s lack of goal threat on the night.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were unable to get their touch or the timing of their runs right often enough to really trouble City.

As Solskjaer says, perhaps Cavani’s movement would have helped unlock the door.

Cavani will complete his suspension against Watford on Saturday, meaning he is free to return for United’s next Premier League game, against Burnley on Tuesday night.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.