Injuries marred Sunday’s heavyweight clash between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford, with the hosts making all three substitutions before half-time.
Before kick-off, key duo Nemanja Matic and Anthony Martial were ruled out completely before Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and the man who replaced him, Jesse Lingard, were all forced off in the space of 22 first-half minutes.
Liverpool also lost a key figure in Roberto Firmino before the break and showed a severe lack of attacking intent – recording no shots on target in the second half – despite dominating most of the possession.
United had the better chances as well as a goal was disallowed for offside, but have now slipped out of the top four after Arsenal’s comfortable win against Southampton in North London.
Solskjaer’s men will slip further down to sixth if Chelsea win their game in hand, and now face the task of picking themselves up with a thin squad at Crystal Palace. The Eagles host United on the back of a 4-1 triumph at Leicester City.
Here’s how I’ve rated the Reds on a tough day full of gritty performances.
David de Gea - 6
Had next-to-nothing to do all game; his 100th Premier League clean sheet was arguably one of his easiest.
Ashley Young - 6
His woeful pass back to de Gea right at the start nearly put United behind after less than a minute and that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Chris Smalling - 8
Justified his selection ahead of Bailly and Jones, strengthening his place as Lindelof’s first-choice partner at the heart of the defence.
Victor Lindelof - 7
Looked exhausted at the end and you could see exactly why. Gave everything to keep Liverpool’s dangerous attack at bay and showed some good ball-playing ability.
Luke Shaw - 8
Man of the Match.
One of his finest United displays yet. Made Salah’s Old Trafford visit as difficult as Young did last season – ultimately taking the sting from Liverpool’s attack.
Scott McTominay - 7
Huge pressure to replace Matic at such late notice but did as well as he could in the deep-lying midfield role. Probably wasn’t initially expecting to play the full 90 minutes either.
Ander Herrera - 5
A frustrating afternoon. He only lasted 21 minutes but energetic and controlling as always while on the pitch. A big loss so hopefully he won’t be out for too long.
Paul Pogba - 8
Was forced to play a much more reserved game than originally planned due to injuries and did it in a professional manner. Has come a long way in so many different aspects under Solskjaer.
Juan Mata - 5
Marked out of the game by the physically-superior Fabinho before coming off for Lingard just a few minutes after Herrera. Ineffective.
Marcus Rashford - 7
Worked his socks off. A true Manc and it showed. Picked up a knock within the first five minutes but still worked hard to try an provide an attacking threat for the whole match. Deserves a rest against Palace.
Romelu Lukaku - 5
Lukaku was unresponsive to cries from the crowd and Solskjaer for a lack of running again. First touches were never convincing, however, produced the best pass of the game to send Lingard through one-on-one in the first half.
Andreas Pereira - 7
Did well on his chance after being introduced much earlier than he would’ve expected. Showed plenty of aggression and energy in one of his better showings for United.
Jesse Lingard - 4
Careless management from Solskjaer may have cost him a few more weeks of his career. Only lasted 20 minutes before going off after replacing Mata.
Alexis Sanchez - 6
Worked hard defensively but made a minimal attacking contribution. Should start at Palace due to injuries but he’s running out of chances.