Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer questioned the way Liverpool’s defenders had treated his striker Marcus Rashford in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
Rashford picked up an early injury to his ankle in a challenge from Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson but a series of injuries to other players meant he had to carry on.
United had three players leave the field with hamstring injuries before the interval and Rashford had to play on until the end, showing some signs of discomfort. “I think he was….you can’t say targeted but you can say that there were quite a few fouls on him definitely,” said Solskjaer.
“Normally you could take him off after five minutes… he went straight through him and his ankle just blew up,” the Norwegian said of the Henderson tackle.
“Then Ander Herrera and Juan Mata came off so we couldn’t take the risk of taking him off so hopefully he’s not damaged himself so much,” he added.
Solskjaer clearly felt that the referee should have taken more action to protect the England striker.
“That was one of many fouls on him, if that’s not an accumulation of fouls I don’t know,” he said.
“But you know he’s a warrior, he’s a Manc, and he knows what this means. We had to keep him on because we had already made three subs,” Solskjaer added.
The United caretaker boss, unbeaten in the Premier League since taking over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, said he was delighted with the way his depleted side coped against the league leaders in the second half. “I was very impressed with my team today, the attitude, especially the character that we showed with all the adversity. Everything which could have gone wrong in the first half went wrong,” he said.
“The first half was so far away from the potential, the quality that we have. Second half I thought we were magnificent.
“I learnt a lot about the players today, the character of the team. We knew that first half wasn’t good enough on the ball – I have never seen us be so sloppy on the ball, giving so many easy balls away.”