Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to start Victor Lindelof instead of Eric Bailly against Liverpool was not a popular one pre-game.
Bailly was the man in form while Lindelof’s only previous game this year was the Carabao Cup semi-final loss to City. So seeing the Swede selected over Bailly again in another big game felt like it could be a case of Solskjaer repeating a mistake.
It was great to see Lindelof justify his selection and keep a clean sheet as United shut out Liverpool at Anfield.
United drew the game 0-0 and could have won with better composure from Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba when each presented with late chances.
Lindelof shows his composure
Lindelof made 10 clearances in total. The rest of the back four made 11 combined.
The Swede won two tackles and won two aerial duels as he helped United deal with Liverpool’s threat.
Liverpool started strongly and United weathered their early pressure well. Lindelof’s partnership with Harry Maguire was a key part of that.
The clean sheet is the statistic which will please United boss Solskjaer the most.
Solskjaer will have been acutely aware of the fact playing Bailly was the popular call.
The United boss took what some would perceive as a risk, an unpopular decision, knowing the blame would come his way if it backfired.
So it is to Solskjaer’s credit too that Lindelof played well. It is always good to see him make a brave or unpopular call which pays off.
Bailly will get his chance
United play Liverpool in the FA Cup next week. There is a chance Bailly will get the start in that match at Old Trafford.
He could also start in midweek when United face Fulham in the Premier League.
It’s actually a good problem to have now. United have three very capable centre-backs, which you can extend to four and include Axel Tuanzebe too.
Reaction to Lindelof display
Lindelof’s performance drew praise from fans, which was good to see after his initial selection proved so unpopular. Here is a look at the reaction to his display…
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