Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Manchester United played with “10-and-a-half” men after his injury-hit team held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Solskjaer had to make three first-half substitutions after Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard picked up hamstring injuries.
Marcus Rashford suffered an ankle injury in an early challenge from Jordan Jenderson but played the full 90 minutes after Solskjaer — who had lost Nemanja Matic in the build-up — ran out of replacements.
“I have never seen it before, three hamstrings in the first half,” Solskjaer told a news conference.
“Rashy was kicked and did his ankle straight away. We should have taken him off as well — we played with 10-and-a-half but the fans made up for it.
“There were quite a few fouls on him, and normally you would take him off after five minutes.
“His ankle blew up and he wanted to run it off — Juan and Ander came off — so I hope he’s not damaged himself too much.”
Liverpool are a point clear of Manchester City at the top but after a game which saw Liverpool dominate possession but muster just one shot on target, their manager Jurgen Klopp was seen mouthing: “S— game” at the final whistle.
“He can have his own opinion,” Solskjaer said. “We had a good performance — defensively absolutely fantastic.
“He’s not happy, but I was very pleased with the performance and the fans enjoyed it. I learned a lot about the players today.
“I was very impressed by my team — the attitude and the character we showed in adversity. Everything that could have gone wrong first half went wrong. Second half we were magnificent.”
United’s walking wounded have little time to recover, with a trip to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park scheduled for Wednesday before Southampton visit Old Trafford on Saturday.
Arsenal’s win over Southampton at the Emirates on Sunday moved United back down to fifth in the table with 11 games to play, but Solskjaer said: “We’ve got players to come in.”