Michael Carrick discusses Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic injuries following Anderlecht win

by Leo Nieboer

Michael Carrick has been reflecting on injuries sustained by Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic during Manchester United’s second leg 2-1 win over Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-final.

Rojo, who hadn’t missed a minute of action for Man United since the international break, was forced off following a nasty clash with Alexandru Chipciu after just 23 minutes.

Zlatan hobbled off on the stroke of full-time after landing awkwardly on his knee, paving the way for Marcus Rashford to occupy the No.9 role and grab the winner in extra time.

And Carrick, speaking after the game, labelled the two afflictions as “disappointing” at such a crucial stage of the season.

“It is disappointing,” he said. “Hopefully it is not too serious because they are two big players for us.”

Losing Zlatan, whilst unavoidably damaging, may not be the end of the world. Rashford has, almost of nowhere, started to vigorously assert himself in front of goal under Mourinho, perhaps responding to the Portuguese’s demands for greater potency in the final third. Keeping him in the starting XI, therefore, would be a smart move.

Rojo’s knock, on the other hand, could be far more damaging. His injury leaves Mourinho with just recognised one centre back pairing: Eric Bailly and Daley Blind. Matteo Darmian can also fill the role in times of real desperation. Perhaps now is the time for the much-coveted Axel Tuanzebe to step up to the plate?

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