Manchester United may have cruised into the last 16 of the Europa League with a 4-0 aggregate win over Real Sociedad – but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have made a mistake.
The Norwegian boss watched his side draw a blank in the second leg at Old Trafford despite naming a strong side, which included Bruno Fernandes before he was replaced by Marcus Rashford at the break.
While the England international has now featured in all of their 40 fixtures in all competitions so far this season, Fernandes has played a part in 37.
Given their importance to the team, and the upcoming fixture against Chelsea on Sunday, any injuries before or during that game will reflect badly on Thursday’s outings.
Solskjaer was asked about his team selection before the clash, and he told MUTV: “Especially Marcus and Harry [need a rest]. They’ve played a lot of football. And Alex [Telles] and Eric [Bailly] need games and they’ll definitely be needed throughout the season.”
When asked about the decision to start Fernandes as captain, he added: “He’s done it before and he’s one of the vocal ones.
”We know going into half-time 4-0 up is going to challenge your mentality because you might step it down a notch or two. But Bruno isn’t going to allow that.”
The Norwegian has admitted in the past that he has no plans to rest Fernandes, saying in January: “His form is very good, he was just voted Player of the Month.
“He’s not tired, no, no chance. He is one of the players that runs and covers the ground in every single game, he’s very good at recovering and recharging his batteries.
“Since he’s come in, he’s been absolutely immense. He’s not tired and if I ask him he’ll say there’s absolutely no chance that he’s tired.”
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