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Thursday 14th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

United midfielder suffers hamstring strain in 3-0 victory

by Simon Williams at Old Trafford

PAUL POGBA looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho confirmed he had suffered a hamstring injury during Tuesday night’s Champions League game against FC Basel.

The 24-year-old, who began the night captaining United for the first time, pulled up just after the quarter-hour mark and was replaced moments later by Marouane Fellaini, fit again following a calf injury, who opened the scoring before Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford netted for the hosts.

After the game Mourinho admitted he wouldn’t know the full extent of the injury until the Frenchman, who left Old Trafford on crutches, has a scan today but was sure that it was a problem with his hamstring.

“I don’t know obviously, but by experience, just by looking and feeling, it’s a hamstring,” said the Portuguese. “Big, small, I don’t know.”

United, who were returning to Champions League action after winning the Europa League last season, looked comfortable for large parts of the game against RotBlau.

Substitute Fellaini opened the scoring for the hosts with 10 minutes left in the first half, rising high to head home an Ashley Young cross.

Lukaku headed home United’s second from Daly Blind before Rashford stroked the ball home from a Fellaini low cross minutes after coming on.

The 19-year-old has now scored in his first appearance in the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup and for England.

And despite Mourinho being unhappy with his side’s overall performance, he says that the focus for the Red Devils is to reach the knockout stage of the competition.

He said: “It’s three important points in the first match at home, we finish at home and in between we have difficult matches — but to start with three [points] at home always good.

“I think 3-0 is a bit against the wave of the game at this period but in this group any team can take points off any.

“But I think for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern, [we] are just warming up [in the competition].

“In February, when us English teams are trying to survive after the winter period, they are fresh and ready.

“For them this is the warmup, we’re in the second level and that level is let’s qualify, let’s get points for the knockout phase and if we do that let’s enjoy playing against the big guys.”