Jose Mourinho reveals Eric Bailly suffered an injury with Ivory Coast to rule him out of Liverpool game

by Harry Robinson

Eric Bailly picked up a knock while on international duty with the Ivory Coast, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed as the centre-back missed the Reds’ trip to Anfield.

United drew 0-0 against Liverpool in their first ‘big’ game of the season, having to bring Chris Smalling into the side to play alongside Phil Jones at the back.

Mourinho told reporters ahead of kick-off that Bailly had suffered an injury during the international break.

“I don’t think we have many options,” Mourinho said. “Bailly [was] injured in the national team.”

The Portuguese also referred to injuries suffered to Marouane Fellaini with Belgium and Marcus Rashford with England.

Rashford played in both of England’s games, but despite a knock, was on the substitutes bench for United at Anfield, unlike Bailly and Fellaini who missed the matchday squad entirely.

Mourinho didn’t reveal whether Bailly would be back in contention for United’s third UEFA Champions League group stage game, against Benfica this Wednesday.

Victor Lindelöf is another option, and Mourinho is willing to use his £30.7m summer signing in European games more so than in domestic fixtures, due to the different style of play.

United missed Bailly’s presence against Liverpool, with the combination of Jones-Smalling failing to impress. Jones, though a key contributor this season when playing alongside Bailly, looks a far worse player without his regular partner.

Smalling, for his part, is simply a lesser player than Bailly. United were fortunate that Sadio Mane was unavailable for Liverpool, the visitors wouldn’t have been able to cope with the former-Southampton man without Bailly.

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