Manchester United have now gone almost five hours without scoring and at Crystal Palace their attacking problems were so acute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left his third substitution unused.
Scott McTominay and Daniel James, with 12 goals between them this season, were introduced in the last 20 minutes but Solskjaer overlooked the £37million winger Amad and 17-year-old rookie Shola Shoretire.
United drew 0-0 for the third game running at Selhurst Park, where they were without Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial. United’s attack has been an injury or a suspension away from collapsing all season and their lack of experienced personnel up front forced Solskjaer to start Edinson Cavani in his first game back after a 17-day absence. Cavani, 34, made way for James in the 76th minute.
“We had Marcus [Rashford] out there, Mason [Greenwood] out there, Bruno [Fernandes] out there,” Solskjaer explained. “Scotty came on to give us a goal thrust and almost had a chance straight away.
“We put Dan on for some pace and with those out there that’s most of our goals that we’ve had. Of course, we had Shola or Amad but which one of those five would you take off? That was my quandary in the last 10 or 15 minutes.
“But I felt in Mason, Bruno, Marcus they could get a goal. Scotty and Dan actually had a chance each when they came on.
“We’re not happy if you don’t create chances enough to win a game, of course. It’s been a week with no goals and sometimes three games sounds a lot without scoring.
“We’ve not conceded either, but a week in a season like this, sometimes you just don’t hit the form that you’ve had for many, many months, so it’s a bit of a worry, of course it is.
“But I know that the boys are giving everything. We play every three days and I know they’re giving everything they’ve got. Attitude and approach I’m very happy with, the quality we need to get back to what I know we can do.
“We just didn’t have the quality and the tempo in the passing. You can call it urgency… we started slow and it’s never nice to see the opposition to take the initiative but we got into the game and when we played with quality and tempo we did create some chances.
“But we didn’t have enough of it, we didn’t build enough pressure on the defenders or their keeper to make saves.”