The Argentinian international was a surprise absence from the line-up when the teams were announced at Sunday lunchtime but Rojo’s omission from the bench made it clear he must have picked up an injury.
It continues a growing list of injuries picked up by defenders this season and it appears the crisis is never ending. Despite Phil Jones and Jonny Evans now returning, both Rojo and Chris Smalling are missing after forming a good partnership in recent matches.
But speaking to MUTV after the game, van Gaal elaborated on his initial point about Rojo picking up an injury which he first mentioned to Sky Sports before the match.
“He [Rojo] felt something yesterday, and I didn’t want to take a risk. If a player is complaining about a knock, I ask whether or not they want to play, and that’s the end of it. So, I played Phil Jones today.”
It meant Michael Carrick once again slotted in at the back alongside the returning Jones whilst Jonny Evans made his first start since picking up an injury himself in the 5-3 defeat to Leicester City back in September.