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Solskjaer plans taking shape at Man Utd, says Guardiola


London (AFP) – Pep Guardiola says Manchester United are starting to play the way Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants them to as he prepares for a blockbuster League Cup semi-final between the two sides.

City head to Old Trafford for the first leg of the last-four encounter on Tuesday, having won the competition for the past two seasons.

Guardiola’s side are third in the Premier League, 13 points ahead of fifth-placed United, but lost 2-1 to their rivals last month as Solskjaer’s men produced an exhilarating display of counter-attacking football at the Etihad Stadium.

Asked what he had learned from that defeat, the Spaniard added: “How fast they are. How they run on the counter-attack. How solid, how aggressive.

“We conceded a few counter-attacks and in just two or three seconds they were in the box.”

Speaking about Solskjaer, he said: “I think he is starting to see his team like he wants. The last (league) game against Arsenal they lost, but you see clearly what he wants.

“It was not easy to handle a team at a big, big club, always demanding to be champions in all competitions, but I think every manager needs time.

“I have the feeling United have started to play the way he wants.”

With the Premier League title apparently heading to Anfield, Guardiola is forced to focus on the cup competitions after winning a domestic treble last year.

“A third semi-final in a row. It is not the best competition in the world but it is nice to be here again and against our city opponents,” said the City boss.

Guardiola will have Nicolas Otamendi available again after an injury but has not yet settled on a starting XI.

“I have an idea,” he said. “We have played an incredible amount of games and some players need to rest. I have an idea, but I am not 100 percent sure who will play tomorrow.”

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