Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke of his pride after his Manchester United side fell short of a remarkable comeback in their Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
Nemanja Matic scored the only goal as United beat City 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium – their second victory at that venue in less than two months – but it was not enough to turn the tie around.
Holders City, who dominated both legs in terms of chances created, prevented further damage and profited from Matic’s sending off to win 3-2 on aggregate and book a Wembley date with Aston Villa.
The Norwegian said: “I want to talk about the players and the attitude they’re showing, and how far they’ve come. They’ve come here twice now in six weeks and beaten Man City.
“It’s difficult enough to beat them twice in 10 years and we’ve beaten them twice in six weeks. It was fantastic attitude, they gave absolutely everything.
“Of course we’re missing Marcus (Rashford), Paul (Pogba), Scott (McTominay). We’re missing big players but we’ve come here and beaten them again. I’m so proud of how far these boys have come.”
The result further underlined United’s inconsistency this season.
Solskjaer added: “We know it’s going to be inconsistent this season while we’re building, but it shows how good we can be and how good these boys can become.
“We want to eradicate those defeats but everyone watching knows what we’re trying to do.”
Solskjaer was frustrated by Matic’s dismissal for a second yellow card 14 minutes from time.
He said: “The first one’s not a yellow card. He’s unlucky. I disagree with that decision.
“We had a chance towards the end but of course that made it more difficult.”