Manchester United’s pre-season injury problems look set to continue after Jose Mourinho confirmed that Chris Smalling missed the latest friendly against Liverpool through a knock sustained in the warm-up.
Over 101,000 supporters watched on at the Michigan Stadium as Man United’s rivals ran out as 4-1 winners after a dominant second-half performance.
Andreas Pereira once again impressed in midfield and his stunning free-kick to equalise in the first half was one of a few positives to take from the fourth pre-season match of the United States tour.
There was confusion at kick-off though, as Eric Bailly lined up as part of a back three despite Smalling’s name being listed on the initial team sheet.
It was later revealed that the England centre-half picked up a minor problem before the match begun, but Mourinho explained to MUTV after full-time that Bailly wasn’t actually fit to start and now has a slight ankle problem.
“Eric Bailly was injured and shouldn’t be playing, but when he saw Smalling injured he made the decision to play and not allow 5 kids to play at the back vs Salah and Mane. Now his ankle is swollen, but he is a brave boy.”
United’s injury issues are bad enough at the moment, with first-team stars Antonio Valencia, Diogo Dalot, Marcos Rojo and Nemanja Matic expected to miss the start of the season, so hopefully Bailly can recover in quick fashion.