Manchester City U21s beat Rochdale 2-0 two weeks ago

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With the starting XI Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded last night, Manchester United should have overcome League One Rochdale with consummate ease.

It didn't quite work out like that, though.

There were internationals everywhere you looked in the United side.

Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Paul Pogba, Fred and Jesse Lingard were all starting.

But it was 17-year-old Mason Greenwood that gave the home side the lead during the second half.

However, the League One side forced penalties after 16-year-old Luke Matheson scored a late equaliser.

United may have progressed to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with the help of a penalty shootout but it was a pretty embarrassing result for the Red Devils nonetheless.

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It’s even more embarrassing when you consider some of Rochdale’s results this season.

Dale currently sit 17th in League One and recently lost 6-0 to Peterborough.

But even worse is the fact they lost 2-0 to Manchester City U21s in the Football League Trophy earlier this month.

But this wasn't really a U21 side from City.

Here is their starting line-up and their ages:

  • Daniel Grimshaw (21-years-old)
  • Alpha Richard Dionkou (17-years-old)
  • Nathanael Ogbeta (18-years-old)
  • Taylor Harwood-Bellis (17-years-old)
  • Yeboah Amankwah (18-years-old)
  • Thomas Doyle (17-years-old)
  • Iker Pozo La Rosa (19-years-old)
  • Jayden Jezairo Braaf (17-years-old)
  • Ben Knight (17-years-old)
  • Nabil Zoubdi Touaizi (18-years-old)
  • Adrián Bernabé (18-years-old)

So City kids beat Rochdale 2-0 away and United’s first-team can only draw 1-1 at home.

Yet another example that shows City are in a different league to United right now.

Solskjaer’s side have now won just two of their last seven matches in all competitions.

Despite that, the manager was in a mood to joke that United are better in penalty shootouts than actual matches following their Rochdale scare.

Manchester United v Rochdale AFC - Carabao Cup Third Round

“We go 1-0 up in many games and again we go 1-0 up and you think 'go on then,'" Solskjaer said after the match.

“It's the key now and it's a learning curve for these boys. We need to go for the second.

“At this club you don't just sit back and hope that's enough. If you settle for good enough that's not what we want.

“We handled it really well. I'm very pleased with the confidence. You know we're better in penalty shoot outs than in proper games.”

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