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Ralf Rangnick updates on Ronaldo and Cavani injuries

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick provided an update on the injuries sustained by Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani following the club’s 4-1 Premier League defeat at Manchester City.

The Red Devils were without Ronaldo, Cavani, Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane for different reasons yesterday. While Shaw and Varane tested positive for coronavirus, Ronaldo and Cavani were not deemed fit to play.

Following the game, Rangnick revealed that Ronaldo had been struggling with a hip flexor problem, and the medical department made it clear that he could not play. The Portuguese did not train before the game.

He told “Well, I have to believe my medical department. Our doctor came to see me on Friday morning – before training told me Cristiano cannot train with the problems he has with his hip flexor.

“The same was true on Saturday and that’s why he couldn’t be part of the squad.”

Meanwhile, Rangnick reiterated the same for Edinson Cavani, who has yet to overcome a nagging groin problem.

The Uruguayan has been out for the past few weeks. He returned to training recently but continues to struggle to prove his fitness.

Rangnick added: “Would it help anything to tell you it’s frustrating? It’s just a fact.

“If players tell the doctor and medical department they cannot play, as a manager, I have to accept it. I cannot force a player to play if he’s not available because he’s got an injury.”

Rangnick acknowledged that he had some doubts ahead of the Manchester derby, but few would have visualised the prospect of four key players being ruled out of the encounter.

They made the worst possible start with Kevin De Bruyne finding the back of the net after just five minutes.

Midway through the half, Jadon Sancho gave United hope with a superb curling effort from the edge of the box to beat Ederson at his far post.

However, the joy was short-lived with another defensive lapse contributing to De Bruyne bagging his brace. Sancho had one more chance before the break, but that was about it.

At 2-1, there was still plenty to play for. However, it was a dismal second-half showing from the Red Devils as they failed to muster a single shot while being completely dominated.

Riyad Mahrez scored with a terrific half-volley to make it 3-1 for the hosts. The Algerian put the gloss on his performance in stoppage time with a close-range strike beyond David de Gea.

De Gea could do nothing about the goals conceded, but the Spaniard was kept busy throughout. If not for him, the scoreline could have been more embarrassing for United.

The performances of De Gea and Sancho were the only positives from the Manchester derby.

United have no time to ponder the result with another key game against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

They are already one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have three games in hand.

With ten matches to play, United may need to potentially win the lot to finish in the Champions League places.

That may also be insufficient. The Red Devils still have the chance of winning the Champions League to reclaim a berth, but that would require a drastic change in fortunes at both ends of the pitch.

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