Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recent history with substitutions has left some fans puzzled.
Last week, Solskjaer found himself unable to make a fifth substitution after Brandon Williams was forced off against Southampton with injury because the Manchester United manager had already sent on four subs in the three blocks that are allowed in the current Premier League regulations.
And on Wednesday night, the United boss only made two changes in total against West Ham, despite repeated comments from commentator Gary Neville about the visible fatigue among the players on the pitch in the 1-1 draw.
Solskjaer swapped the booked Timothy Fosu-Mensah for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at half-time and the next change didn’t take place until the 85th minute, when Odion Ighalo replaced Marcus Rashford.
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Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Daniel James all remained on the bench as United pushed for a winner against the Hammers, despite many players looking exhausted in the final stages of the game at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer explained: “We wanted to have goalscorers out there and score goals. We know Bruno [Fernandes], Paul [Pogba], Mason, Anthony [Martial], they can create a goal in any second, Marcus as well. We wanted to win the game, of course, it would have been nice to go into Sunday with a win but we are where we are.”
United travel to the King Power Stadium for the final game of the season on Sunday and know that a draw against Leicester is enough to guarantee themselves a place in the top four while a win for the Red Devils will see them finish the campaign in third, ahead of Chelsea.
He continued: “We’ve gone out in two semi-finals, so we’ve got a final and have got to embrace that one. Finally we’re in one! We pinpointed this one – the Leicester game – that if we have a chance of going there, beat them big, we’d be delighted.
“But then we caught up points, we caught up goal difference and have given ourselves a fantastic opportunity. We know we’re going to play against a good team. They are very, very dangerous in different aspects of the game, they can do different things to you tactically.
“We’ll enjoy the 24 hours extra we’ll have before Sunday and we’ll be ready physically and mentally.”