Manchester United produced a resilient display to fend off lowly Yeovil Town in the F.A Cup this weekend, but Louis van Gaal has more than one reason to be disappointed following the match.
A superb strike from Ander Herrera gave the Red Devils the initiative in the clash before Angel di Maria sealed passage into the next round with his strike in the dying moments. However after the match Van Gaal confirmed that his squad has been hit once again by injury blows, with both Rafael da Silva and Luke Shaw succumbing to different complaints.
Van Gaal reveals blow
The Dutchman detailed following the win at Huish Park the reasons behind both his full-backs being substituted in the match, with Rafael sustaining a fractured cheekbone and Shaw once more aggravating an injury to his ankle which has refused to stop bothering him since his arrival at Old Trafford.
"Rafa has a fracture, so it's not looking good, and Shaw has an ankle problem," he told his club's official website.
"Rafa has a fracture, so it's not looking good, and Shaw has an ankle problem"
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"I had to change, and I don't have more defenders, so I have to change the shape also.
"Rafael had a fresh injury so it was fantastic that he had the guts to play through. He has a fantastic mentality, it's unbelievable. But I had to change him and Shaw because they are not 100 percent fit."
Though the absence of the duo is unlikely to curtail Van Gaal’s plans for the near future it will be a cause of great frustration given how unlucky the 63-year-old has been with regards to his team selection. So far this season United have suffered greatly from injuries, with players like Shaw having missed more than their fair share of games.
Despite this form has picked up significantly since the beginning of the campaign and Van Gaal’s men currently boast an unbeaten run of 11 games in all competitions. Whilst talk of a surprise charge for the Premier League title is certainly premature, a healthy domestic cup run isn’t off the cards, and the Dutchman will have been pleased not to have come unstuck against Yeovil.
Next up for the Red Devils is a slightly more difficult task against Ronald Koeman's high-flying Southampton. Though the Saints are the away side for next Sunday’s clash they do enter the match off the back of having comfortably beaten Arsenal, and so will pose a threat to the run United are trying to extend.
It’s expected both Rafael and Shaw will be missing for that game whilst they recover, with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo also fighting to return to fitness.