The manager of Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he decided not to start the club’s talisman, Bruno Fernandes in the FA Cup quarter-final match against Leicester City, because of the load on the player.
The Norwegian technician insisted that if he had to play the match again, he would use the same starting lineup despite the defeat the team suffered at the hands of Leicester.
On Sunday, March 21, 2021, Manchester United met with Leicester City at the Kings Power Stadium to play Leicester City. Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to start Bruno Fernandes from the bench to the dismay of many fans of the club.
He brought in Fernandes in the 64th minute when Manchester United was already losing 2-1. The Portuguese attacking midfielder who has scored 16 league goals and provided 10 assists could not make any difference in the game.
Despite being on the pitch, Leicester City stormed the defense of Manchester United in the 78th minute and scored the third goal of the match through the boots of Kelechi Iheanacho.
Hence, Iheanacho’s 24th and 78th-minute goals, and that of Youri Tielemans’ 52nd-minute goal were enough to end Manchester United’s journey in this season’s FA Cup campaign.
In his reaction, the Manchester United coach says he decided to rest Bruno Fernandes because the Portuguese star had played a lot of games and needed to rest.
“I would have started the same team again,” Solskjaer said.
“We felt they had more than 45 minutes in them [Pogba and Van de Beek] and they are important players for us, that’s why we started them.
“Every team selection has reasons behind it, Bruno has played lots of football – he broke all his records physically on Thursday. He is a human being, he’s played a game every three or four days.
“It was a chance to start both Donny and Paul but the accumulation of games has caught up with us. With Bruno, he wants to play, but sometimes you have to make decisions for the benefit of the team. The accumulation of games has caught up with us.
“We picked a team that we felt would win the game or give us a foundation to win the game, players like Donny and Paul wouldn’t.
“You’re always disappointed at the end of the line in a cup run. We couldn’t find the normal spark, brightness, and energy. All the games have maybe caught up with us. Thursday was a big night for us. Today we didn’t have that zip you need to create chances and stop goals.”