Former Chelse defender Frank Lebouef has criticised Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes for “disappearing in the second half” in their Carabao Cup semi-final loss to Man City.
Rejuvenated centre-back John Stones’ first goal since November 2017 early in the second half set City on course for victory, with Fernandinho wrapping up a 2-0 win with his first since October 2018.
Roy Keane was not please with what he saw from Fernandes and Leboeuf was disappointed with the Portugal international’s second-half display in paricular.
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“They didn’t [go toe to toe with City] in the second half,” Leboeuf told ESPN.
“I enjoyed the game and mostly the first half, where it could have gone either way. We saw goals but we saw offsides.
“Of course we saw Manchester City have most of the possession of the ball but Manchester United had good opportunities to counter attack and they did well. They were fighting very well in the middle of the park.
“But second half, they almost completely disappeared. Most of them. I think that’s why they have a dependence on him. Bruno Fernandes disappearing in the second half.”
While City can look forward to the Carabao Cup final against Tottenham on April 25, Man Utd are left nursing the wounds of a fourth straight semi-final defeat.
Asked if it was a mental issue in semi-finals, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “I don’t think it’s a mental issue.
“Tonight it was about just that lack of quality compared to them. I thought we played against a good Man City team, they deserved to win.
“But I feel we’re disappointed when we concede two set-plays. You know, we defended well and we kept the ball really well at spells, especially in the first half.
“If they carve you open, that’s one way of losing. But to concede two set-plays, that’s disappointing and we just didn’t have the margins with us.
“Of course their keeper made a fine save in the first half from Bruno Fernandes’ shot and the first goal is always going to be important in a game like this.”