Bernardo Silva of Manchester City and Phil Jones of Manchester United
Phil Jones and Manchester United could not keep up with Bernardo Silva and Manchester City in Tuesday's League Cup defeat. Photo by Peter Powell.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has blasted Manchester United players for their first-half display in Tuesday’s 3-1 derby defeat to Manchester City, which has left them on the verge of a Carabao Cup semi-final exit.

The Red Devils are without a win in three games across three separate competitions (the Premier League, FA Cup and the League Cup) following their collapse at home to City.

United conceded three times in the first half before a 70th-minute Marcus Rashford strike offered some hope in the two-legged tie, but Solskjaer said at a press conference after the game:

"From 15 minutes to half-time was the worst we have played this season. We couldn't cope with the setback. Now we have a steep mountain to climb."

Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez scored a pair of impressive goals before Andreas Pereira was unfortunate to give up an own-goal, leaving United 3-0 behind at the break.

Raheem Sterling started in an advanced role as both striker Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were benched by Pep Guardiola.

City talisman Kevin De Bruyne rubbed salt in their wound and told reporters Guardiola’s men required only 15 minutes training with the new system on Tuesday morning.

It proved more than sufficient, and City now look all but certain to complete their semi-final victory when the two teams reconvene at the Etihad Stadium on January 29.

Leicester City and Aston Villa will meet on Wednesday in the first leg of their semi-final. The Citizens hope to win a fourth League Cup in five seasons and could become the first club to win it three times in a row since Liverpool sealed four straight titles between 1981 and 1984.