Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Luke Shaw was brought off at half-time in Manchester United’s 2-1 win against Aston Villa as a precaution.
The Red Devils beat the Villains away from home courtesy of goals from Rasmus Hojlund and Scott McTominay. Douglas Luiz had initially equalized for the hosts on Sunday (February 11) evening.
Manchester United moved to win five points off fifth-placed Villa and six behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. It was a vital win for Ten Hag’s men but it was somewhat marred by Shaw’s withdrawal.
The Dutch coach opted to take the English left-back off at halftime with Victor Lindelof coming on in his place. The Villains had joy down that flank in the second half following the substitution.
Ten Hag gave an update on Shaw‘s condition after Manchester United’s victory. He said that the England international had complained (via centredevils):
“He had some complaints and we can’t take any risks with him because he’s had any injuries in the past. We’ll have to see how it goes in the next few days.”
Shaw, 28, has dealt with injury issues throughout the season. He sat out the majority of the first half of the campaign due to muscle injury, only returning in December.
Ten Hag highlighted how detrimental it would be to lose Shaw given his philosophy:
“It’s not an advantage to lose him, everyone knows my philosophy to have left-footers at left centre-back and left-back. We have to make compromises and it is not to our advantage.”
Shaw’s potential injury would be a significant blow given the Red Devils’ defensive injury crisis this season. Tyrell Malacia is still sidelined with a knee injury and the Dutch left-back has missed the entire campaign thus far.
Shaw insisted Manchester United’s ambitions are to win the FA Cup and finish in the top four
Ten Hag’s side have endured a topsy-turvy season which has seen them unsuccessfully defend their Carabao Cup. They crashed out of that competition in the Round of 16 and were also knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the group stages.
Shaw gave a realistic take on what Manchester United’s ambitions for the season are now. He said (via UtdPlug):
“Win the FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League. Obviously, at the start of the season, that wasn’t our ambition, but at this point right now, we’ve got to be realistic about where we’re at…”
The Red Devils are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and they face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground (February 28). They also have 14 games left to try and finish in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.