Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have an injury crisis on his hands ahead of Monday’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Chelsea.
The Norwegian suffered his first defeat since replacing Jose Mourinho back in December as the Red Devils were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League earlier in the week.
While that loss could derail United’s hopes of progression, there were two separate incidents at Old Trafford which could disrupt Solskjaer’s plan for next week’s game at Stamford Bridge.
Firstly Jesse Lingard – a scorer against Arsenal in the last round – limped off the field just before halftime, holding his hamstring as he was replaced by Alexis Sanchez.
Then as the teams remerged for the second half, Anthony Martial – also on target against the Gunners – was nowhere to be seen and as a result ex-Blues star Juan Mata came on in his place.
Solskjaer will now be left to sweat over the fitness of the pair as he prepares for Monday night’s FA Cup fifth round clash with the Blues, with both players recording three goals and two assists since the Norwegian arrived just before Christmas.
“Jesse and Anthony give us something, let’s hope they’re not too serious,” he told reporters after the game. “They’re muscle injuries, so we’ll just have to wait a couple of days.
“They [PSG] had the momentum after the first goal and controlled the game. You could see that we hadn’t played at this level for a while and we will have to learn.
“It was an experience that can go either way, it’s not going to be a season defining one, it’s one we have to learn from.”
Martial’s potential absence opens up a space on the left-wing and the most logical replacement for the Frenchman would be Sanchez despite his struggles since arriving from Arsenal over 12 months ago.
However, a large portion of United fans have sent a message to Solskjaer ahead of Chelsea fixture and it’s not good news for the Chilean forward.
In a poll ran on the Manchester United MEN Twitter account , 42% of supporters voted that they would rather see 19-year-old Tahith Chong start on the left against the west London outfit instead of Alexis.
Marcus Rashford was the fans second favourite choice behind Chong, while Sanchez received 19% of the vote and Mata got 5%.