Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s half-time actions v West Ham sum up Man Utd’s big problem

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made one thing very clear ahead of Manchester United's Premier League game against West Ham : there were certain players he did not want to risk.

Tuesday's do-or-die Champions League match against RB Leipzig was obviously in his thoughts, with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford dropping to the bench and David de Gea left out of the squad altogether for the clash at the London Stadium.

Speaking ahead of kick-off Solskjaer told Sky Sports that with regards to Fernandes, "if I don't have to use him I'd like not to."

But after a truly wretched first half, it was crystal clear to everybody watching that the problem is United very much do need him – and are far too reliant on the Portuguese playmaker for their own good.

Solskjaer brought both Fernandes and a half-fit Marcus Rashford on at half-time, and it is clear the Norwegian simply does not have faith his side can get a result without the two.

Gary Neville summed it up on commentary, saying: "Ole will have said to Fernandes 'sorry mate, but we're just not very good without you.'"

Not many would be able to disagree with that assessment.

United looked considerably better after the break, and it was that man yet again Fernandes who set up Paul Pogba for the equaliser.

And he had a big part to play in Mason Greenwood's strike to put his side ahead too, with a cheeky backheel to set away Alex Telles to provide an assist.

Rashford then finished from Juan Mata's pass to effectively end the game as a contest.

The big question is what on earth United would do if the likes of Fernandes or Rashford were injured or ruled out for a significant amount of time, as they simply do not seem to have a sufficient strength in depth to cope without them.

And despite being delighted with the result, Solskjaer will no doubt be hugely disappointed his original line-up were unable to get the job done.

He will also be hoping neither Fernandes nor Rashford show signs of fatigue mid-week following their 45 minute cameos, with their biggest game of the season so far to come in three days.

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