Solskjaer blasted for Man Utd team selection in FA Cup semi-final defeat

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been criticised for his team selection for Man Utd's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea – as Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson claimed Jose Mourinho would not have made the same mistake.

The United boss opted to make several controversial changes to his lineup, leaving the likes of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood on the bench.

Presumably Solskjaer had one eye on United's pursuit of a Premier League top four place with just two fixtures remaining.

However after favourites Man City had been knocked out of the cup 24 hours prior, the FA Cup represented a huge chance of a first bit of silverware for the Norwegian, and Merson can't fathom why he took such a gamble.

"If that's Jose Mourinho, he is playing his strongest team," Merson told Sky Sports. "You win trophies. You are judged on trophies!

"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to win something! If he wins the FA Cup it's massive for him! There are only a few trophies he can win in a season!

"This is on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He's not going to be manager at Manchester United for the next 15 years, is he? Sooner or later when he goes on a bad run he's going to be out of a job.

"That's football now. When you lose games, you're out. If he loses his job and he has an FA Cup, he has an unbelievable CV!"

Martial, Pogba and Greenwood were all introduced before the hour mark as Solskjaer tried to make amends, but to little avail.

United were already two goals down following two howlers from goalkeeper David de Gea, and their misery was soon compiled further when Harry Maguire scored an own goal to put the tie to bed.

They now face two crucial fixtures in the league if they are to finish in the top four, before their involvement in the Europa League continues in August.

But Merson feels Solskjaer may still be left ruing his decisions.

"If Mourinho was in Man Utd's position yesterday, knowing he has Arsenal in the final, he plays his strongest possible team," he added.

"At the end of his career, Mourinho can say: 'I won this, this, this, this, this, this and this. Oh, and this and this.' There won't be an asterisks next to one FA Cup which says: 'Oh, that year we finished fifth instead of fourth.' It's all about trophies!

"I was flabbergasted at his [Solskjaer's] team selection. I couldn't believe it."

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