Manchester United were dealt an injury blow early on in their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first leg clash against Sevilla as midfielder Ander Herrera limped off and Jose Mourinho admitted the early prognosis didn’t look good in the aftermath of their 0-0 draw on Wednesday night.
“I think it’s a bad injury. The medical department gave (pronounced) him fully fit on Saturday. He trained on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and looked fit,” Mourinho stated at his post-match press conference in Seville.
Herrera started the game brightly, harrying the Sevilla players whenever they had the ball, a point Mourinho was quick to emphasise as he continued, ”The way he was playing during the time he was on the pitch, he showed the intensity that is only possible when you are fit. He pressed a lot, really high; we started the match not giving one inch to (Ever) Banega”.
The hardworking midfielder was replaced by Paul Pogba, but the Spaniard’s early exit clearly hampered United as the visitors never quite got going in a game that saw he home side enjoy the majority of chances.
United custodian David de Gea was the standout player on the night, making a couple of jaw-dropping saves to keep his side in the tie.
Herrera had returned to the setup after a few weeks out with a hamstring concern and Mourinho confirmed the same injury had flared up as he added, “Then it was a backheel that created a contraction in the muscular area where he had the previous problem”.
The Red Devils host Chelsea in a massive Premier League clash on Sunday, but Herrera is effectively ruled out of the tie at Old Trafford and is a major doubt for the return leg with Sevilla, which takes place on March 13 as well.