Manchester United are safely through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after a 2-0 win over Yeovil yesterday. Ander Herrera and Angel di Maria got the goals to help the Red Devils past their lower league opponents.
After struggling though the first 45 minutes at Huish Park, the Premier League outfit eventually pulled clear of their League One rivals to secure their spot in the next round and avoid a repeat of their early Capital One Cup departure.
However it wasn’t all good news for Louis van Gaal as he is likely to be without Rafael for some time after he suffered a fractured cheek bone during the win. Luke Shaw was also forced off at half time and could face another spell on the sidelines.
Van Gaal confirmed the injuries after the game, and with both Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young out the Dutchman has a serious problem at full-back against Southampton this weekend.
“Rafa has a fracture, so it’s not looking good, and Shaw has an ankle problem,” the Manchester United boss told MUTV. “I had to change, and I don’t have more defenders, so I have to change the shape also.
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"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 aren't 100 per cent fit.
Mata praise for Falcao
Juan Mata has praised Radamel Falcao, describing the striker as spectacular for his goal in the draw against Stoke on New Year’s Day. The Spanish playmaker added however that Man Utd’s away form needs to improve.
He wrote: "We started 2015 with a Premier League game at Stoke City. It’s always a tricky one, not only because of the opponent but also because it gets very windy in that stadium. We conceded a goal very early into the game, in a corner kick, and we had to fight back to tie the score.
"Radamel showed his outstanding instinct as a striker. He is spectacular inside the box. But despite his goal we couldn’t win, and it’s been several consecutive draws away from home now… We need a win in our next visit."
Manchester United swoop for Sneijder?
The Red Devils have once again been linked with Wesley Sneijder, although Juventus are also said to be interested.
The Galatasaray ace is expected to be on the move in January but Manchester United are well stocked in attacking areas so a swoop would be a surprise - however he does share a strong relationship with Van Gaal.