Forever the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United lost their fourth semi-final in two years on Wednesday as they fell 2-0 to local rivals Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, having lost to City at the same stage last season as well.
It was a frustrating night for United, and here's what Solskjaer had to say when it was all said and done.
On conceding sloppy goals
“City can score many great goals, and you can accept that, but when you concede from two set-plays, simple ones that we should have cleared, we are very disappointed," he said (via the club's official website). "It is just not good enough in those moments.
"We would have liked to have defended that first free-kick better. That is a poor goal to give away, I have to say. It is not one to analyse on telly here. It was very, very disappointing. We didn’t [do enough]. Clearly, we didn’t.
"We didn’t create enough big chances ourselves, they didn’t create too many big ones either, but we just didn’t have the extra finesse that we have had in the games lately, in the league, in those tight games that we won. We weren’t good enough today and when you concede two set-plays, it is very disappointing.”
On whether the semi-final hoodoo is a mental thing
“No, it is not psychological. Sometimes, you meet good teams in semis and we just didn’t have enough. At the moment, they are probably the best team in England and we just didn’t have enough. When you lose a semi-final, when you lose against an opponent, you think they deserve it.
"But we are getting closer. This is a much better version of Man United compared to a year ago in those semis. That’s positive but it is not enough.”
He added (via The Times): “When you get to this stage [of cup competitions], you play against better teams. It comes on some nights [down] to margins, quality. Tonight we conceded from two set plays, which is very disappointing. We need to be better. I’m not sure if it’s about the mental bit. It’s about some practice, some habits and some desire at times.”
On the difference in quality between the teams
“City played well and when they play well, you have to play really well to beat them and that is just the reality of where we are at. When they play up to their best, we are just lacking that little bit. We are just not there yet. That is a big word, ‘yet’, but we will get there and these boys are getting better.
"These disappointments will hurt and those little habits that will create those little margins for you, they have been good but we can also be better at the little things.”
On picking themselves up quickly
“We wanted to go to a final. We wanted the final to look forward to and that would have given us an extra boost. But it is not happening and then you have to dust it off and use the night to get the disappointment away. Because, on Saturday, FA Cup [against Watford], and then we have big league games against Burnley and Liverpool and, within a month, suddenly the Europa League is here again.
"There are loads of things to play for. It is allowed for an hour or so to be very disappointed before you go to bed but then you wake up tomorrow morning, with something to look forward to. You have got to.”