Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that replacing Luke Shaw at half-time in Thursday night’s Europa League victory against Granada was a cautious decision to “protect” the left-back against the risk of injury.
Shaw has been one of United’s best players in recent months after returning to training from his latest setback in December and even got his first England hat in two and a half years in last month’s World Cup qualifier 2022 against Albania.
Shaw has returned to his best form so that any setbacks in injuries would be a big blow Fran Santiago / Getty Images
But it caused concern among United fans when Shaw did not re-emerge in the second half against Granada on Thursday night.
Solskjaer has alleviated the fear and insisted that it was a precaution to withdraw the player rather than a necessary action. This means that Shaw will be suitable for the important away trip to Tottenham on Sunday.
“I had to protect Luke. But I think and hope that he will be okay for the weekend, “Solskjaer explained after the final whistle in Granada, via ManUtd.com.
Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes scored the decisive goals in an otherwise less than captivating competition, although Solskjaer called it “not a perfect night” because yellow cards mean that Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay and the aforementioned Shaw are suspended for the return match.
Rashford scored a very well taken first goal to give Man Utd the lead | Fran Santiago / Getty Images
In pursuit of a first major trophy since winning the Europa League in 2017, United have a combined 2-0 lead returning to Old Trafford for the second round next week, making them strong favorites to advance to the semi-finals.
“We know how difficult it is to come to Spain to get such a result and I am very pleased with the result,” Solskjær told BT Sport.
“Marcus and Bruno have been exceptional to us and are so important. The first goal was a very good run from Marcus, he took the ball fantastically and a good finish, and Bruno is so good on penalties.
Bruno Fernandes scored his 24th goal of the season | Soccrates Images / Getty Images
“We want to win every football game. It’s still a young, learning team and we have to improve all the time. It catches you so fast if you rest and we can have no choice but to move forward and try to score. [in the second leg]. “
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