Martial, Lingard to miss Chelsea, Liverpool games
Manchester United will be without Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard for the FA Cup clash at Chelsea on Tuesday morning (Singapore time) with both sidelined for up to three weeks after picking up injuries during the midweek Champions League defeat by Paris Saint-Germain.
The in-form duo will also miss Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford in the English Premier League on Feb 24 and face a race against time to make the second leg of the last-16 tie against PSG in the French capital on March 6.
“I think they’ll be out for two-to three weeks,” United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday.
Martial sustained a groin problem in the early stages of Solskjaer’s first defeat in charge, but was able to carry on until half-time before being substituted.
England international Lingard pulled up with a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half.
United sorely missed both players after the break as PSG struck twice in quick succession through Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe to leave Solskjaer’s side with a mountain to climb if they are to reach the last eight of the Champions League.
Alexis Sanchez again struggled to make an impact off the bench with Solskjaer insisting it is up to the Chilean to show he is worth the highly lucrative contract he signed when joining from Arsenal just over 12 months ago.
Sanchez has scored just five goals in 37 appearances for United, but did find the net for just the second time this season in the last round of the FA Cup in a 3-1 win at Arsenal when he linked up well with Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian and Sanchez are expected to start at Stamford Bridge, but Solskjaer did not rule out the prospect of instead showing faith in youngsters Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong, who have been training with the first team after impressing in United’s junior sides.
“We’ve got still forward options but Angel and Chongy have been training with us all week so there’s a big chance they’ll be involved,” said Solskjaer.
“It’s a chance for anyone who plays – Alexis, Romelu, Chongy or Angel. Anthony and Jesse have done really well for us. They’re vital in the attacking part for us, of course, with their vital attributes, their pace.
“But then again with Rom and Alexis, they’ve got different skill sets and will be able to show what they can do.”
Defeat to PSG in midweek was a reality check for United and Solskjaer’s chances of landing the job on a permanent basis after a run of 10 wins and one draw in his first 11 games in charge.
Solskjaer made a short trip home to Norway to visit his family and take stock in the past few days, but is confident his players can recover quickly to inflict more damage on a Chelsea side still reeling from last weekend’s 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.
“It’s a different feel of course. I hate losing games, and it seems like the boys hate losing games,” he added.
“They’ve been down but there’s no point dwelling on it because there are big games against good teams coming up and we need to dust ourselves down and get going again on Monday.
“You’ve got to bounce back at this club. You will always have challenges and away against Chelsea is one of the tougher challenges.” – AFP