Solskjaer denies ‘tippy-tappy’ City dig, rues tactical fouls

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied making a snide dig at Manchester City last month.

United face bitter rivals City on Tuesday in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, hoping to edge closer to their first piece of silverware since the 2017 Europa League.

The two clubs are separated by 13 points in the Premier League table but United emerged victorious when they met at the Etihad in December.

Later that month, Solskjaer followed victory over Newcastle by pointing out that his side “can’t play tippy-tappy football and can’t, at this moment in time, play like City – only City can do that”.

Solskjaer explained the point he was trying to make on Monday.

“That tippy-tappy comment was not aimed at them (City), I’ve never said that about City,” he said. “It was aimed at my players. We have our own style. We need to play with pace and power.

“Traditionally Man United are a team which attacks quickly. We play forward, we run forward and you’d like to have the mix between dominating teams more and still having that penetration.

“I don’t want us playing that type of football, I want us to play ‘proper’ football.”

While he denied he was denigrating City’s style the United boss has had issues with their rivals reputation for ‘tactical’ fouls, although he does not believe it is restricted to Guardiola’s side.

“Sometimes I look at the referee and I look at our games and even if they are just little fouls there have been a few teams that have stopped us with those little fouls,” he added.

“That has stopped us showing how good we are when we want to attack.

“There have been a few fouls on Dan James and I am probably best not talking about it but referees have to look at it with players of his pace as even if they knock the ball past (defenders) and get stopped in their tracks of course it is a yellow card.”

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