Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick provided a fitness update on Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes following the club’s shock FA Cup fourth-round exit to Middlesbrough.
The Red Devils went into the game as overwhelming favourites, but produced a poor showing at Old Trafford which paved the way for a shock penalty shoot-out defeat.
Jadon Sancho opened the scoring in the 25th minute, moments after Cristiano Ronaldo squandered his penalty. Boro equalised through Matt Crooks shortly after the hour mark.
With the scores level over normal and extra time, the game went to penalties where Anthony Elanga blazed his effort over the bar. However, he can’t be solely blamed for the result.
The youngster did have some chances to find the back of the net, but Sancho, Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were equally disappointing with missed scoring attempts.
While the result was hugely disappointing, there were also fitness concerns for Sancho and Fernandes. Sancho was substituted in the 100th minute as he appeared to be struggling with a hamstring issue.
However, Rangnick emphasised that the England international was only suffering from fatigue. Meanwhile, the German confirmed that Fernandes picked up a knock to his back in extra-time.
The Portuguese was still able to complete the entire game. Rangnick is hopeful the duo will be deemed fit ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League encounter against Burnley at Turf Moor.
He told Manutd.com: “Jadon didn’t get a knock. He was just feeling tired.”
“Bruno had a knock on his back but could play through the whole game.
“Hopefully, for Tuesday, we will have all of those players available again.”
There was a feel-good factor before yesterday’s game with the club having won back-to-back Premier League matches, one of those being in the dying seconds against West Ham United.
United were not up for the challenge in the final third yesterday with rued chances. With the fierce competition in the Champions League, it could end up as a fifth campaign without a trophy.
The top four could be a priority hereafter. The club are currently fourth in the standings and have the chance to boost their Champions League prospects against Sean Dyche’s side in midweek.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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