Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane forced off injured in Man Utd’s Europa League quarter-final draw with Sevilla
Manchester United’s mounting injury problems intensified on Thursday night as the dramatic 2-2 Europa League quarter-final first leg draw against Sevilla came at a significant cost.
United’s first-choice centre-backs Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez both failed to finish the game, the former replaced at half-time and Martinez later carried off with what appeared to be a serious injury.
On the injuries to Varane and Martinez, United boss Erik ten Hag said: “We’ve seen with Martinez he drops out after a moment where there was no opponent involved so that doesn’t look that great, so we’re going to have I can’t tell what it is, but it’s not the Achilles area.
Sunday 16th April 4:00pm
Kick off 4:30pm
“He will not play on Sunday. It looks like that, but I can’t say what is the diagnosis and I prefer to wait and then we are clear and we know exactly what it is. I have spoken with him and he is OK . He is calm.”
“I can’t say at this moment and the same with Rafa. I haven’t spoken to Rafa after the game but it’s an injury he’s complained about over the past couple of weeks so we have to see how it is now.”
Man Utd players set to miss second leg
- Raphael Varane (football)
- Lisandro Martinez (unconfirmed)
- Marcus Rashford (snout)
- Luke Shaw (unknown)
- Alejandro Garnacho (ankle)
- Tom Heaton (ankle)
- Donny van de Beek (knee)
- Bruno Fernandes (suspended)
Varane had impressed during United’s dominating first half, winning 100 per cent of his duels and completed 84 per cent of his passes while also clearing one Sevilla chance off the line, but the France defender was forced off at half-time and replaced by Harry Maguire .
Worse was to follow for United after Bruno Fernandes’ harsh booking for handling a close-range shot triggered his suspension for the second leg in Seville next week.
Ten Hag opted to replace the Portuguese with the returning Christian Eriksen, but with Anthony Martial also then withdrawn, his early substitutions backfired.
United were leading 2-0, but seconds after Sevilla pulled a goal back Martinez went to ground unopposed holding his right ankle area.
The defender’s Argentine compatriots Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel lifted him off the field. United were forced to play the remaining minutes with 10 men as Ten Hag had made all five of his alterations.
Youssef En-Nesyri’s header deflected off Maguire to square the tie, and ahead of the second leg Ten Hag faces a growing list of absentees, with Fernandes, Varane and Martinez joining Rashford, Luke Shaw and Alejandro Garnacho on the sidelines.
Ten Hag added: “We had the game in our hands. We were 2-0 up and we should’ve scored a third and a fourth. The game was totally on us, and we had some unlucky moments with injuries.
“We had to make some subs with injuries like Rafa [Raphael Varane] at half time. Also, we had to sub Anthony Martial as it was his first start since coming back.
“We had to bring off Antony and Bruno [Fernandes] as they were on bookings. So, we had to make some subs. Then we lose control in an unlucky moment and we switched off.
“Then we had another unlucky moment with Lisandro Martinez and we’re down to 10 and then we conceded a second own goal. It’s bad luck and we have to deal with it.
“In the last part of the game, we had to be more composed and we could’ve benefitted from counter-attacking situations. We were unlucky in our defending with the deflected shots.”
Ten Hag was already without forward Marcus Rashford, who is out for “a few games” due to a muscle injury, but revealed it was too soon to rule the England international out of the return leg in Spain.
“There is a chance but I can’t confirm it,” the United boss said.
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Man Utd’s remaining fixtures
April 16: Nottingham Forest (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
April 20: Seville (A) – Europa League, kick-off 8pm
April 22: Brighton (N) – FA Cup semi-final, 3pm kick-off
April 27: Tottenham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8:15pm
April 30: AstonVilla (H) – Premier League, 2pm kick-off
May 4: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 7: West Ham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 7pm
May 13: wolves (H) – Premier League, 3pm kick-off
May 20: Bournemouth (A) – Premier League, 3pm kick-off
May 28: Fulham (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
TBA: chelsea (H) – Premier League