While the drama was unfolding in Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon and the teams were stuck at the Lowry Hotel, the team managers had to show the officers team sheets.
Like the logs, the team sheets had to be handed over to the Premier League an hour before kick-off, and both United and Liverpool adhered to them, with the Premier League posting both teams’ starting XIs.
The MEN reported on the announced United side even though the situation looked like there was little chance the game would actually be played.
XI: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Rashford
If we look at this from a football perspective rather than the protests perspective (you can read more about the protests here), here are three things we learned from the line-up …
(Photo by Stu Forster / Getty Images)
Solskjaer took it seriously
There have been questions about how strong a Team United would be for this game, which is between a Europa League semi-final.
United moved to Liverpool in the FA Cup in January and still won. So there was a case that Solskjaer could afford here.
Solskjaer may have adjusted his plans after beating Roma 6-2 on Thursday.
Some players like Bruno Fernandes could start on the bench in Rome with United being four goals ahead.
This allowed United to name a strong line-up against Liverpool to secure all three points – although the players are known to have had no opportunity and will have to wait for another day.
Fred and McTominay are United’s top pick
Solskjaer is in love with his midfield partnership between Fred and Scott McTominay and from recent results he cannot be blamed.
However, it speaks volumes about the demise of Nemanja Matic who has really gone backwards this season.
While he may get a game against Roma, ideally he could contribute more than him, but Solskjaer doesn’t seem to trust him anymore.
Fred and McTominay have done well lately, but it’s impossible to shake the notion that United need another key midfielder.
Unlike Cavani, Rashford is not yet rested
As it turns out, Marcus Rashford will be taking a week off. Maybe more if he’s not on the grid to face the Roma.
Solskjaer had no intention of resting Rashford, however, and named him on the grid when he could easily have pushed in Dan James.
(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)
This spoke volumes about how seriously Solskjaer took this match and how much he relied on Rashford. United need to find a way to rely on him a little less.
In the meantime, Edinson Cavani should start this one on the bench, an indication that he may still be in line to start with the Roma.
Roma will be sick of seeing him after scoring two goals and two assists in Thursday night’s 6-2 win.
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