Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained the absence of the star forward.
Manchester United’s positive week came crashing down with a shock FA Cup quarterfinal defeat against Leicester City on Sunday. In a roller-coaster match, Leicester pulled clear of the Red Devils in the second half to win the match 3-1, in the end, to qualify for the semifinals. FA Cup was seen as a good opportunity for Manchester United to end their recent trophy drought. However, the defeat on Sunday dealt a huge blow to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hopes of ending the season with silverware.
The squad was rotated for Sunday’s quarterfinal after a morale-boosting victory at San Siro a few days earlier. One of the noticeable absentees was Marcus Rashford. The English international has been a consistent performer for United in the last few years as he became a key member of Solskjaer’s plans. Keeping that in mind, a few eyebrows were raised when he was missing from the starting line-up of the crucial cup match at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
During the pre-match interview, Solskjaer explained the reason for his absence. When asked if the forward was ever in contention to play Leicester City, Ole said, “No, he wasn’t close.” It is to be noted that Rashford was substituted at the half-way stage in Europa League round-of-16 second leg against AC Milan. Paul Pogba replaced him at half-time before going on to score the winner at the San Siro.
“We took him off and he thought he’d be ready but, yesterday, he had no chance of walking on his foot. The scans show there’s an injury there but, of course, we’ve got players coming back – Anthony [Martial] and Donny [van de Beek] coming back in, so there are positives as well,” Ole as quoted by manutd.com. “I don’t know [any timeframe for a return]. The doctor will speak to the English [FA] but I think he’ll travel and report for them. Maybe he’ll be fit for them.”
Solskjaer, however, got some positive news with the availability of Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani. “We need all our players as we’ve played so many games with less than four days in between the games all season, so we need everybody fit,” he added.