Erik ten Hag is waiting to find out the severity of the injury that sidelined Donny van de Beek in the first half of Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
Van de Beek’s first league start since May 2021 – and the first time he kicked off a home league win in his United career – lasted only 45 minutes as he was forced into a first-half stoppage after being tackled by Marcos Senesi.
It looked like a hard hit and Van de Beek was in obvious pain as he limped through the tunnel, causing Ten Hag to fear injury ahead of Friday’s FA Cup tie against Everton and next week’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Charlton.
“It’s hard to say,” Ten Hag said of the prospects for Van de Beek. “We have to wait at least 24 hours. But it doesn’t look good.”
Anthony Martial was also knocked out in the 69th minute, but Ten Hag indicated that the Frenchman’s problem was less of a worry.
“You saw he got a knock and then he kept playing and then he fell off (later),” he said.
Marcus Rashford scored for the fourth successive game after goals from Casemiro and Luke Shaw put United in control of another encouraging night at Old Trafford.
The Ten Hag side now have as many points as third-placed Newcastle and only one behind rivals City who travel to Chelsea on Thursday as the Old Trafford derby on January 14 approaches.
The United boss said he was happy with his side’s form but warned against complacency.
“I think she’s really strong, but she’ll only stay strong if we do our job, giving 100 percent in every situation. I had the feeling (in) the second half that some people had the feeling that the game was over and the game was never over.
“We saw the reaction of the opposition, they still believed it, and if they went back to 2-1, they were back in the game.”
Despite the result, Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil was encouraged by his side’s reaction to heavy criticism of their performance in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
“The boys were brilliant,” he said. “In training, I was actually trying to get them to back off a bit. The intensity was really good. I never have to question the answer, I knew I would get it.
“The only disappointment is that when we appeared in these situations we couldn’t score.”
With the January transfer window open, O’Neil said he expected Bournemouth to be strengthened after a summer where their inactivity was a major source of frustration for former manager Scott Parker and played a role in his departure.
But regardless, O’Neil said he believed in his current lineup.
“I’m sure there will be reinforcements,” he said. “We’re a newly promoted team who, as you know, didn’t add much in the summer and today’s team looks similar to last season.
“But they are an amazing group, they give me everything and they have quality. I have no complaints about the group I have, but it’s January and like the other 19 teams in the league, we’ll be looking to strengthen.