Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that his decision to bring Marcus Rashford on during his side’s clash with Wolves in the FA Cup on Wednesday night ‘backfired’ after the striker came off injured with a back injury. United face Liverpool on Sunday in the Premier League but Rashford is now a doubt for the game.
ashford didn’t start the game with Wolves, but came on midway through the second half, before crumbling under a challenge from the away side’s Matt Doherty.
Rashford hobbled around after getting to his feet before signalling to be hauled off in favour of midfielder Jesse Lingard.
The 22-year-old clutched his back as he trudged down the Old Trafford sidelines and down the tunnel.
After the game, Solskjaer spoke of his decision to bring Rashford on, just days away from an important game against Liverpool.
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“I think you can see it was two teams towards the end that were tired. End to end and an open game – sometimes that doesn’t suit us,” Solskjaer said.
“We’re delighted to beat Wolves finally. Juan Mata is different class. He’s got the skill, composure and even pace.”
Mata’s chipped effort was enough to send United to the fourth round of the FA Cup, which Solskjaer has said United need to go all out for this season because of their inconsistent league form.
Mata said: “It was very difficult to break them down today – it’s a good result for us.
“Good couple of days. Luckily I put the ball in the net – it wasn’t offside. luckily no VAR – you have to wait these days.”
Mata then elaborated on what was written on a note passed to him by Solskjaer during the second half of the game.
“A list for grocery shopping…bread.. milk..” the Spaniard jokes.
“It’s been five games we haven’t beaten Wolves. It shows how difficult they are – they have great players.
“We finally beat them. We showed that we can compete against every good team.
“Hopefully Marcus Rashford isn’t too bad. Was a shame he couldn’t be on the pitch for more minutes.”
But Solskjaer explained that the note was mostly to do with his side veering out of shape throughout the clash.
“A couple of times we went out of shape – we adjusted it for five/10 minutes before half-time,” he said.
“Dan [James] had three or four great opportunities one-on-one with the keeper. Fair play to our boys we created them but we didn’t take them.”
United take on fierce rivals Liverpool on Sunday evening at Anfield, and will be hoping to end the Reds’ year-long unbeaten league run.