Nemanja Matic suffered a setback in training and had to miss Manchester United’s vital clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Academy graduate Scott McTominay was selected by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in place of Matic, as the 22-year-old was named in the starting line-up for the first time since the 2-2 draw with Southampton in December.
Speaking ahead of the game, Solskjaer revealed he was sure McTominay will have a good game and understands the importance of the tie.
“Scott’s played these games before, he’s an academy kid who knows the importance of these games,” he said.
“He’s got the same, some of the same attributes that Nemanja has so I’m sure he’ll slot in there and do well.
“Matic got injured during one of the training sessions a few days ago so we tried to get him fit for the game but it wasn’t to be. He’ll probably be out for a couple of weeks so we’ll manage without.”
McTominay had a good game against Jurgen Klopp’s side and he helped United keep a solid midfield that ensured Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane lacked service all game.
Solskjaer was indeed pleased with the 22-year-old’s performance and praised him after the game as well as Luke Shaw.
Speaking after the match, Solskjaer said: “Everything that could have gone wrong in the first half went wrong.
“We had four injuries – we had to keep Marcus Rashford on – it seemed like it was going to be a tough afternoon.
“I can’t remember Liverpool having a chance. Even though they had possession, I can’t remember David de Gea making a save.
“Scott McTominay was excellent. When they need a goal and they take Mohamed Salah off you know Luke Shaw has played a good game.”