Manchester United supporters were evidently worried at the sight of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s injury, sustained against the Czech Republic on Wednesday night.
The 27-year-old was forced off with a knee problem in the first half of Armenia’s 3-0 defeat to the Czechs following a nasty collision with Marek Sukhy.
Supporters, keen to see Mkhitaryan make his first start in red shirt against Manchester City on September 10, expressed their concerns.
Mkhitaryan doubtful for the Manchester Derby.
I hate international breaks.
— Adam Sweeney (@AdamWSweeney) September 1, 2016
Mkhitaryan got injured apparently hope he's back before the derby
— Ole time (@HazoomMoussa16) September 1, 2016
Good thing about the Mkhitaryan injury is that it's impact. Shouldn't be long out if any time at all.
— Ben (@_BallpointBen) September 1, 2016
Knee injury for Mkhitaryan ????
— Jonny Ross (@thejonnyross) September 1, 2016
Mkhitaryan doubtful, Fellaini injured. When everything was going well. ????????
— Mashorat (@Mwadzame) September 1, 2016
Every contest between Mourinho and Guardiola is predicated by a meticulous deciphering of each other’s systems, almost like a form of tactical guerrilla warfare. In this case, Mkhitaryan acts as a crucial member of Mourinho’s plan to topple the Spaniard. A successful guerrilla is always subtler, more precise and always sees more further than their opponents.
Needles to say, the Armenian personifies these attributes to maximum effect. And against Guardiola’s zonally organised, acute defence, Mkhitaryan’s cut-throat vision and execution serves as the key when it comes to unlocking the Spaniard’s famous – but very much penetrable – system.
The one thing this United side must avoid against Manchester City, above anything, is stagnancy when going forward, as highlighted against Hull City. The 27-year-old injected zeal and panache into that final passage of play, and his readiness for the derby in 10 days time is paramount.