Manchester United battled to a narrow 1-0 victory at Norwich on Saturday evening, with their task made harder by the absence of players through illness and injury
Ralf Rangnick suggested Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s fresh injury concerns are not as serious as first feared while giving an update on the condition his Manchester United squad.
Wan-Bissaka was stretchered off after suffering blows to the knee and the hand during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Young Boys in the Champions League.
The Englishman did not recover in time face Norwich three days later, with Diogo Dalot lining up at right-back for his third successive start in the Premier League.
Two more players who started in midweek, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata, were also absent from the matchday squad to take on the Canaries.
Rangnick confirmed the two veteran midfielders are under the weather as he spoke ahead of Saturday evening’s kick-off at Carrow Road.
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“Two of them (Matic and Mata) are ill and Aaron is injured,” the United interim manager told MUTV . “He got two knocks against Young Boys. He didn’t feel good enough to be part of the team today.”
The Red Devils are also without the services of Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial as the festive schedule ramps up.
Pogba is expected to be missing until the New Year with a thigh injury, while Raphael Varane has been suffering with a similar problem but could return to action much sooner having returned to training.
Elsewhere, Cavani has been battling with a tendon issue and Martial, who is seeking a January exit from Old Trafford, is ruled out with a knee injury.
United seemed to be feeling the effects of their growing injury list during their clash with relegation-threatened Norwich, as they were lacking the intensity they showed in Rangnick’s first game in charge, last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
Red Devils legend Gary Neville was surprised by their lack of pressing, telling Sky Sports : “I expected United to come out really sharp but also being ferocious by pressing really high.
“But it’s just been the opposite. Manchester United are not really applying any pressure to Norwich at all. They look really comfortable in possession.”
It took until the 75th minute before the visitors took the lead against the Canaries thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s powerful penalty, which was awarded after Max Aarons brought down the Portuguese striker in the area.
The visitors found themselves clinging on the closing minutes as Ozan Kabak and Billy Gilmour came close to levelling, but they left East Anglia with an important three points which saw them retain fifth spot in the table.