Manchester United held Liverpool to a goalless draw at Old Trafford on Sunday, extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 10 games under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The result saw the visitors go top of the league table, but they hold just a one-point advantage over title challengers Manchester City, while the Red Devils dropped to fifth position and are now a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
United suffered three injury blows in the opening 45 minutes of the game, and Solskjaer was forced to remove Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard for Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez respectively.
“Luckily, I can’t remember having faced a similar situation in a game and that is after more than 12 years as a professional, it is the first time that a muscular injury has forced me off during a match,” the Spaniard wrote on United’s official website.
“In terms of my own injury problem, I could feel something for a few minutes and I hope that I didn’t make it worse when racing to stop Salah on the counter at attack (I had to do it!).
“I’m hoping it isn’t anything serious. I will do everything that I can to get back as soon as possible.”
Salah could have done damage had Mata allowed him through on goal during the opening minutes of the clash, but the Spaniard withstood pain and put his body on the line in order to ensure the Liverpool star didn’t have a chance to strike.
The Egyptian and the Liverpool attack once again had a game to forget at Old Trafford, and his barren run against United – the only top-flight side he is yet to score against – continues.
Mata made sure the status quo was maintained with what was probably a very crucial intervention, and he deserves lots of praises for it.