Manchester United suffered a dramatic 3-1 defeat to Leicester City, sending them crashing out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals stage itself.
Kelechi Iheanacho scored in both halves to put the Foxes in a solid position with Mason Greenwood’s opener not standing the test of Youri Tielemans’ crucial goal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær was the subject of much criticism after the loss, especially since it ensured that yet another opportunity for silverware was lost to the side.
The starting lineup, in particular, was pointed at as a possible reason for the defeat. The absence of Bruno Fernandes was the one that was most hinted at too, given how crucial the Portuguese star is to United’s good form.
However, Solskjær had a pertinent reason for not including Fernandes, which he revealed in the post-match conference, stating: “Every team selection has reasons behind it and Bruno has played a lot of football, on Thursday [versus AC Milan] night he broke all his records physically, statistically and the boy is not inhuman.”
The Milan game was a crucial one for the Red Devils to win given the precarious state of the second-leg Europa League fixture.
However, the journey ahead for the eventual trophy is not an easy one. Having said that, requiring focus only on staying in the top-two of the Premier League and the Europa League is bound to be an unintended benefit of the FA Cup ousting.
With regard to Fernandes’ absence, Solskjær adds:
“He has played a game every three or four days and it was a chance to start both Donny [van de Beek and Paul [Pogba], but the accumulation of games maybe caught up with us.”
The result is perhaps yet another indicator as to just how much the team is reliant on the former Sporting man.