Henrikh Mkhitaryan has heaped praise on substitutes Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini for injecting life into Manchester United’s attacking display during their 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.
Rooney, following what was a tricky first half, came on at half time as a No.10 as Jose Mourinho switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 set-up, with Mata coming on 20 minutes later.
Fellaini was then thrown on with 15 minutes left and made an instant impact with a header that struck the woodwork and quickly found its way to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who duly nodded home the equaliser.
And Mkhitaryan, speaking to MUTV after the game, was quick to praise the trio for the impact they brought off the bench.
“They helped us a lot up front and we are happy that they could change something in our game. We are happy to have them coming on.”
It was clear that, as the players trudged off at half time against Liverpool, something had to change. And Mourinho did indeed respond in emphatic fashion, bringing off Michael Carrick, switching formation and placing Rooney at No.10.
The change helped United – hitherto inundated by Liverpool’s immense pressing – move further up the pitch and force the visitors back. Mata’s poise and craft in possession ensured that Klopp’s men remained on the back foot, and Fellaini’s enormous physical presence against a tiring back four eventually paved the way for Man United to grab an equaliser.