Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits that “everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong” for Manchester United as they saw Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford pick up injuries against Liverpool.
Rashford was the first to take a knock inside the opening seconds, as he tangled with England international colleague Jordan Henderson.
He was, however, to stay on the field and was ultimately left with no choice but to battle through a painful blow to his ankle as team-mates tumbled around him.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “It was the first tackle, Henderson went through his ankle like a balloon. But that was one of many fouls on him.
“He’s a warrior and he knows what this means. We had to keep him on because we’d already made three subs.
“We’ve lost a few with muscle injuries but we’ve got some good kids coming through.”
As Rashford hobbled around Old Trafford early on, Herrera crumpled to the turf and was forced from the field.
There were 21 minutes on the clock at that stage and the Spaniard was joined on the treatment table by countryman Mata shortly afterwards.
Lingard was introduced in place of a fellow playmaker, but his enforced return from injury lasted less than 20 minutes as he departed before the interval.
“Everything that could have gone wrong first half did go wrong,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport.
“When you get four injuries in such a short space of time … we had to take three off and Rashford stayed on, we had to keep him on.
“It seemed like it was going to be a tough afternoon but they worked hard, we kept them away, I can’t remember Liverpool having too many chances. Even though they had a lot of possession, I can’t remember David [de Gea] having to make a save.”
United’s defence were able to contain the threat of title-chasing Liverpool with relative ease, as their goalkeeper collected the 100th Premier League clean sheet of his spell at Old Trafford.
They are, however, unbeaten through 10 top-flight fixtures under Solskjaer and will get the chance to return to winning ways on Wednesday when they travel to Crystal Palace.
Piecing together an XI for that game could be tricky with so many walking wounded, but there is depth to the United squad and faith will continue to be shown in youth.
“We’ve got a good squad, new players coming in,” Solskjaer said of the selection poser he faces.
“You could see that today. Scott [McTominay], I thought he was excellent. Andreas [Pereira] came on and did really well. We’ll be okay.”