Andy Gray slammed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to make 10 changes to his starting line-up ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League game against Leicester City.
Facing the prospect of three games in six days, Solskjaer shuffled his pack having secured Champions League qualification following Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Aston Villa.
United are back in action against Liverpool on Thursday after the original fixture was postponed earlier this month following crowd disturbances outside and inside Old Trafford with fans protesting against the club’s owners.
Liverpool are currently battling with Leicester to secure a top four spot but Gray believes Solskjaer’s decision to field a severely weakened team effectively undermined the integrity of the competition.
Speaking on beIN Sports, he said: ‘I thought they’d make changes, the time scale is difficult but not impossible. I thought they’d make five or six changes. I know they’ve got a problem with Maguire who has picked up a knock and might not have played.
‘I thought they’d make seven, at a push, changes. I didn’t think they’d make 10 wholesale changes. I knew he’d pick an under-strength team here before Thursday. He won’t play this team against Liverpool.
‘It’s wrong to think but Liverpool and Leicester are almost going head to head for the last spot and I’m not discounting West Ham.
‘Have Liverpool got a right to feel aggrieved tonight? One hundred per cent you have and I don’t often agree with Liverpool fans, trust me, unless United play the same team on Thursday. Not a chance.’
Solskjaer handed a Premier League debut to teenager Anthony Elanga, while Axel Tuanzebe featured for the first time since a shock defeat to Sheffield United.
Fellow youngsters Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood also started, while summer signing Donny van de Beek was also handed a rare opportunity.
Defending his line-up, Solskajer said before the match: ‘That was the only way to do it, that is the strongest we can get but I am looking forward to it.
‘These boys will do everything they can for the team and it is a chance for them to play their way into the next game against Liverpool.’