It was an incredible Thursday night for Manchester United’s loyal fans. Their favorite team managed to win against Anderlecht and advance in Europa League playoff. It took 120 minutes at Old Trafford for Manchester to achieve their goal. But, this victory came at a price.
Unfortunately, the top scorer and most valuable player in Manchester Zlatan ibrahimovic, as well as one of the most important defensive players Marcos Rojo, were injured during this match.
The 35-year-old superstar Ibrahimovic had a bizarre accident in which he landed on the field awkwardly while he was in a duel with one of Anderlecht’s players. On the other hand, Marcos Rojo (the 27-year-old defender) was playing just 23 minutes when he had to be replaced. He collided with a player from the visiting team. So, they both have knee injuries now.
Shortly after the match, Jose Mourinho, Manchester’s manager said that he was glad that his team won, but he is worried about the injuries of his top players because there are many important matches ahead. The damage is not yet fully assessed, but Mourinho said that the news is not good. He also said that he will wait for the official, detailed report but he has some awkward feeling that the injuries will force these players to take a break. He obviously wants to stay optimistic about this, but he can’t.
This is definitely bad news for Manchester United because Zlatan Ibrahimovic alone has scored 28 goals this 2016/2017 season. It was obvious that the transfer he made from Paris St-Germain last summer was a smart move because he adjusted well in the Premier League and even in Europa League. For many fans, this is not a surprise because Ibrahimovic is a top-class player. What is good to mention is that this injury comes before the management of the team and Ibrahimovic have discussed the extension on his contract for another year. The seriousness of the injury can affect the future deal, but hopefully, he will be alright.
On the other hand, the Marcos Rojo’s injury has placed this player among few other injured defenders in Manchester United including Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. So, this is a huge blow for the team even though the defensive line of Manchester United was working perfectly in the past month. We will have to wait and see whether this will change in case Rojo is forced to pause.
What is interesting is that these two injuries have affected the odds offered by many online casinos related to Manchester United’s position on the table in the Premier League and their chances of winning Europa League. Obviously, bookmakers know how important these players are to the team.
While we are still talking about Marcos Rojo, it’s worth mentioning that Daley Blind replaced him after he got injured in the match against Anderlecht. Given that Blind had a solid performance, it is very likely that he will be starting the match against Burnley in the Premier League this Sunday. It seems that Eric Bailly (CB) and Blind make a good duo. Of course, if everything else is alright, Rojo should be back after a week or two. It’s very unlikely that Blind will be the first choice of Mourinho till the end of this season.
As previously mentioned, Smalling is dealing with a knee injury he got while he was playing for England. What’s interesting is that Jones has a foot issue after a tackle with Smalling. Once again, this injury occurred while Jones was preparing for a match for the English national team. It’s been about a month since that match but Jones is still not fully recovered. The same goes for Smalling.
That’s why Mourinho said that these two outstanding players must be patient and brave. According to the famous manager, he would ask them to play tomorrow if they were fit. He also urged these two to try to speed up the recovery process and tell the club when they feel fit for playing. If the doctors say that they should be ready to play in the middle of the next month, they could start playing at the beginning of the next month, if they have a strong spirit and willpower – these were the words used by Mourinho yesterday. He is a great motivator!
Manchester United performance in Europa League is great so far. They are the third team when it comes to the number of scored goals. They are unbeaten at Old Trafford for more than 25 games. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored at least one goal in the last five matches in Europe League.
Hopefully, the injured players will be back on their feet and running soon because there are some very important matches for this team in the next few weeks