FOOTBALL NEWS

30/03/2013 16:07, Report by Nick Coppack
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Sir Alex assesses squad

Manchester United came away from the Stadium of Light on Saturday not only with three points but nursing a number of bumps and bruises.

The 1-0 win against Sunderland was a gritty affair that took its toll on Sir Alex Ferguson’s men. Brazilian defender Rafael limped off after barely 30 minutes with a groin strain, while Nemanja Vidic and David De Gea both required lengthy treatment after a nasty clash of heads in the second half. Vidic was left bleeding from the mouth, while De Gea briefly lost consciousness, according to the Reds boss.

What’s more, Sir Alex revealed in his post-match interviews that Jonny Evans (who came on for the injured Rafael) struggled to complete the game, while Dutchman Alexander Büttner was lucky to escape serious injury when Phil Bardsley lunged into a challenge that earned the former Red a yellow card.

“We picked up two or three injuries, which doesn’t help,” Sir Alex said. “It was all down to the courage of the players that they got through it.

“Rafael got injured and Jonny Evans got a bit of a knock but carried on. That was great because we couldn’t afford to take him off. He said he’d last as long as he could but he got through it. He actually said it eased up in the second half.

“I thought we’d lost David De Gea for a moment. He was out for a few minutes but recovered and played a really great part for us.

“We got a few knocks but Sunderland are fighting for their lives, we have to remember that. We had to stand up to that part of the game. Generally, we have a few bumps and bruises but we handled it well.”

Should any players struggle to pass fitness tests for Monday’s match against Chelsea (Rafael

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