Ole Gunnar Solksjear was forced to make three substitutions in the first half of their goalless draw against Liverpool. This meant that they were the first Premier League team to have to use all three of their substitutions in the first half since Burnley did it in January 2015.
Herrera, an important part of United’s midfield, was the first player to go down during the the first 20 minutes of the match with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Andreas Pereira and walked down the tunnel to receive further treatment.
Less than 5 minutes later, Juan Mata followed him down the tunnel after he was injured in a challenge with James Milner. Mata attempted to continue and was able to deny Mo Salah a goalscoring opportunity but he was unable to continue and was replaced by Jesse Lingard.
Lingard, who had been injured during United’s UCL match against PSG, had not been expected to enter the match so early on. Less than 15 minutes after coming on, Lingard nearly broke the deadlock after nearly latching on to Lukaku’s through ball. Alisson did his best to smother the attempt but in doing so caused Lingard to go down clutching his hamstring. The substitute then had to be substituted by Alexis Sanchez.
All throughout the match, it was clear to see that Marcus Rashford was not playing to his usual standard and was often seen limping or not even attempting to make runs the way he normally would. In his post match interview, Ole revealed that Rashford had sustained an ankle injury within the first minute of the match after a tackle from Henderson.
Ole said, “We probably we should have taken Marcus off as well. He was injured in the first minute, with the first tackle they made on him – one of plenty. [Jordan] Henderson went through him, his ankle is like a balloon, and that was one of many fouls on him. If that’s not an accumulation of fouls I don’t know [what is].”
After being asked if he was worried about the damage that Rashford could have done by playing on he said, “Very, but he’s a warrior and he’s a Manc and he knows what this means. We had to keep him on, because we already had to make three subs.You’re never surprised in football. You’ve always got to be ready for anything, [even] losing three players in the first half with hamstring injuries.”