Manchester United defender Eric Bailly could miss a considerable amount of the season following an injury sustained at Stamford Bridge in the 4-0 defeat to Chelsea. United boss Jose Mourinho, who was returning for the first time to his old club, describes Bailly as being “badly injured” following his substitution on fifty-two minutes, with the away side trailing 2-0.
Pedro gave the home side the lead within thirty seconds, before Tim Cahill doubled Chelsea’s lead just after twenty minutes. Eden Hazard ended any United fightback with a nicely taken third, before summer signing N’Golo Kante netted Chelsea’s fourth as he waltzed through United’s defence. United were woeful and the performance highlighted the amount of work ahead for Mourinho who suffered a humiliating return to the ground where he won three league titles.
The Portuguese manager confirmed during his press conference that the Ivorian had suffered potential ligament damage as United’s day went from bad to worse.
“He is injured and I am afraid he is badly injured. In his knee, in the ligament area. He feels it is really bad.”
Last season, United went very close to picking up all three points – however, Diego Costa spoiled the party with a late equaliser. Some of the football under Louis van Gaal was awful, however – the performance at Stamford Bridge in February was one of the better ones across a disappointing season.
The 4-0 drubbing today shows how far Chelsea have come under the charismatic Antonio Conte and his polished 3-4-3 setup, whilst United looked a distant second all afternoon. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was isolated, and came under heavy criticism for his post match exchange with Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba was poor on the ball and Chris Smalling had a nightmare of a performance.
The loss of Eric Bailly is a big loss for United as the centre half had been in good form for the club, having made thirteen appearances so far this season and picking up the man of the match award on a few occasions.