Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why defender Victor Lindelof was absent from the matchday squad picked to face Newcastle at St James' Park on Sunday. 


The Swedish international had played every single minute of United's Premier League campaign up until Sunday's defeat, but wasn't even good for a spot on the bench for that ignominious encounter.

Victor Lindelof

And, as Solskjaer explained, this was thanks to an injury he sustained in the dour draw with AZ Alkmaar on their artificial pitch in the Europa League on Thursday night. 


Speaking to MUTV, the Norwegian revealed: "Victor and Jesse [Lingard] got injuries against Alkmaar on that pitch."


As reported by the club's official website, it is understood that Lindelof sustained a back injury during the game in the Hague, and will require at least a week's rest.


The Swede wasn't the only high-profile absentee, with World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba and his compatriot Anthony Martial also failing to make the trip to Tyneside.


Speaking ahead of the game on Pogba's situation, which coincides with a veritable injury crisis for Solskjaer and co, the gaffer declared: "Paul obviously didn't travel. So we've just got more concerns on the injury front but that doesn't matter now, we've got 11 out there who have been playing together. Diogo [Dalot] did well against Alkmaar."


Unfortunately, Diogo did not do well against the Magpies, and he was not alone, as the Red Devils once again put in a turgid display away from home, piling yet more pressure on the shoulders of Ole.

Not only did this represent Newcastle boss Steve Bruce's first-ever victory as a manager over the team he represented 414 times as a player after 23 attempts, but it also makes this the worst start United have made to a league season since 1989/90. They finished 13th back then.


With their paltry total of nine points, United sit in 12th place, just two points above the relegation zone.