Manchester United have released a statement which details how long defenders Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane will be out for after the pair picked up injuries against Sevilla on Thursday night.
Man Utd thought they had put themselves in a great position to qualify for the Europa League semi-finals after going 2-0 up against Sevilla at Old Trafford. Marcel Sabitzer opened the scoring in the 14th minute after an incisive Bruno Fernandes pass. Sabitzer turned with the ball and beat Sevilla goalkeeper Bono with a left-footed finish, which had the help of a deflection.
And Erik ten Hag’s men doubled their lead soon afterwards, with Sabitzer once again getting on the scoresheet. This time it was Anthony Martial who played the loanee through and he took one touch before finishing past Bono for a second time.
However, Man Utd went on to squander that two-goal advantage. A Jesus Navas pull-back went past David de Gea after coming off Man Utd left-back Tyrell Malacia. And Sevilla made it 2-2 when a Youssef En-Nesyri header hit Harry Maguire and bounced into the bottom corner.
Man Utd must now beat Sevilla in Spain on April 20 in order to reach the next round.
The result was not the only bad news for Ten Hag on the night. Varane was replaced by Maguire at half time after sustaining an injury.
Martinez, meanwhile, pulled up in the 86th minute while on the ball. It looked like he had damaged his Achilles tendon as he immediately went down and grabbed the back of his boot, despite no player challenging him. The centre-back was then lifted off the pitch by fellow Argentina World Cup winners Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel.
Providing an update on Martinez and Varane, a Man Utd statement read: ‘Lisandro Martinez has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after fracturing a metatarsal bone in his foot.
Lisandro Martinez to miss rest of season
‘However, the Argentinian defender is expected to make a full recovery in time to be ready for the start of next season.
‘Lisandro’s defensive partner Raphael Varane was also substituted with an injury at half-time in the same game and is expected to be out for a few weeks.’
Ten Hag will be hugely disappointed about his first-choice central defenders both being out. They have had a big impact on Man Utd’s success under Ten Hag this campaign.
The Dutch coach will now have to rely on Maguire and Victor Lindelof for the remainder of the season. While those two are good backup options to have, they are certainly not at the level of Martinez and Varane. And Maguire’s own goal against Sevilla will do little to help the captain’s confidence, with the Englishman’s performances already being scrutinised at every turn.
Ten Hag will be praying Maguire and Lindelof put in some solid displays over the next few weeks until Varane returns. Man Utd must pick up wins if they are to hold off Tottenham and qualify for next season’s Champions League. The Red Devils are also still in with a shout of winning the treble as they could add the Europa League and FA Cup trophies to the Carabao Cup they won earlier this season.