If there were fans in attendance at Old Trafford against LASK, there would have been a collective groan around the stadium as Eric Bailly went down injured in the 67th minute. We have seen this too many times before.
Thankfully this time, Bailly got straight back up and carried on, completing 90 minutes for just the sixth time this season.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer even made a light-hearted comment about Bailly’s injury after the game, with thankfully no damage done this time, three weeks after a head injury in the FA Cup semi-final resulted in an overnight stay in hospital.
Solskjaer told the club website: “It was great to get Eric [Bailly] through a game again, because he’s had his ups and downs with injuries, and he played really well.
“A bang on the head? That’s just Eric and his playing style!”
Good performance from Bailly
In the FA Cup semi-final there was a lack of communication between Bailly and Harry Maguire which led to the injury, so it was probably a good move to get the pair out there together again and get used to one another once more. A change of system to three at the back did not help against Chelsea either.
Bailly and Maguire were far more efficient here, and there was nothing they could have done about LASK impressive opening goal from the edge of the box.
United went on to win 2-1 and Bailly could be pleased with his night’s work.
He is now firmly in contention to start the Europa League quarter-final against Copenhagen ahead of Victor Lindelof.
Bailly led United with six aerial duels won, with the rest of the United team managing eight combined, and just three from the rest of the defence.
His three interceptions were a team high, matched jointly by defensive partner Harry Maguire.
He also made two clearances, with only Timothy Fosu-Mensah (3) making more.
This was a good night for Bailly, with his only real area to improve being his passing. A completion rate of 79 per cent trailed Maguire’s 87 per cent.
Bailly will certainly have given Solskjaer something to think about heading into Monday’s last eight tie. Not many players did, but he was one who stepped up.
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