Manchester United scraped through to the FA Cup fifth round by the skin of their teeth, beating Liverpool 3-2 at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side headed into the game on the back of a decent run of form in the Premier League, but undid most of their hard work almost immediately after Mo Salah opened the scoring after he escaped his marker in Victor Lindelof and fired home past the helpless Dean Henderson.
Lindelof was shaky and at fault for the Egyptian’s goal, while Salah and co. took advantage of another momentary lapse in concentration to equalise from close range shortly after halftime.
Solskjaer handed the 26-year-old a surprise start in a show of faith given his injury struggles as of late, after it was revealed that he is still nursing a back injury he sustained during the Europa League game against AZ Alkmaar over a year ago.
However, Lindelof failed to repay the favour, as his performance left a lot to be desired.
He struggled to contain the threat of Liverpool’s front three, as he was often trapped in almost total isolation, which forced Henderson to deny Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold as they pushed for the winner.
During the 90 minutes, it’s perhaps telling that Lindelof failed to record a solitary tackle or register a single interception in the time that he was on the pitch, as he struggled to earn a foothold in the game and his usual fine positional sense and awareness utterly deserted him as he was caught out of position for the early opener.
Whilst questions may be asked of Donny van de Beek after such an abject display, it was Lindelof who will have disappointed the manager the most. SofaScore graded the Swede as the joint-worst United player on the pitch with a miserable 6.4 rating, slightly bettered by Van de Beek’s 6.6.
Solskjaer gave him a chance to stake his claim for a place in the starting line-up with Eric Bailly left on the bench, but the Swedish defender failed to make the most of such an opportunity. There’s no denying the fact his latest display will have done very little to convince the club legend that he deserves another chance and we’d expect Bailly to come back in for Wednesday’s clash with Sheffield United.