Jose Mourinho urged his Manchester United players to respond "like men" to Sunday's defeat against Chelsea when they faced Manchester City on Wednesday.
And they did just that - sort of. The Red Devils were 1-0 victors at Old Trafford, securing their place in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.
They face West Ham - who beat Chelsea 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium - in the next round.
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It was still a somewhat mediocre performance from Mourinho's men, though, against a City side that featured a number of youngsters and second-string players.
Indeed, Pep Guardiola opted for a midfield trio of 19-year-old Aleix Garcia, Fernando and Nolito, who usually operates on the wing.
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Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic once again flattered to decieve against the Citizens, with the former making very little impact in the centre of the park.
The pair drew criticism from Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher at half-time, who labelled their respective displays as "non-existent".
He said, per the Mirror: "I don't think Zlatan Ibrahimovic has probably had a worse 45 minutes than that in his career.
"He's getting wound up by [City]. Jose Mourinho has been getting a lot of stick in the last few weeks, the manager always does, but we're talking about a fella last season who got 50 goals.
"Pogba the most expensive player in the world. If you've cost that much money you've got to decide big game and do things in the big games.
"It's non-existent and they're not playing Man City at home - they're playing Manchester City reserves. Let's be honest about it.
"The game's there for Manchester United to win and those two players have been non-existent in these last few weeks and they've got to produce a far lot more."
Credit where credit is due, Ibrahimovic played a more significant role in the second half by assisting Juan Mata's 54th-minute winner.
The 35-year-old striker found his Spanish teammate in the 18-yard box with enough space to fire past Willy Caballero and into the bottom-left corner.
Mourinho had plenty of praise for his players in a post-match interview, even hailing United's fans.
"It is easy to be a Manchester United fan when you are winning the treble or five titles in seven years, not so much when you are losing 4-0," he said.
"That's why I am proud today, the spirit of the supporters is phenomenal here, I never had people like these ones.
"We had to give something back and the players gave everything against City. Step by step we became more confident in the second half, we started pressing higher, the tempo improved and we had a greater intensity.
"This is not the Champions League final, it is only the EFL Cup, but to win against City gives everyone a better feeling."
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