Raphael Varane

Solskjaer explains Varane withdrawal

Tuesday 02 November 2021 22:32

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained why Raphael Varane left the pitch early during Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Atalanta.

The France international, who has only just returned after three weeks on the sidelines with a thigh problem, went down off the ball in Bergamo, with just over half an hour on the clock and the Reds trailing 1-0.

After receiving treatment from the physio, the centre-back walked straight off the pitch at the Gewiss Stadium and was replaced by Mason Greenwood, as Solskjaer tweaked his system to four at the back, instead of three.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Ole explained the reasoning for Varane coming off.

"He felt his hamstring. So of course you can’t take any risks, unfortunately," said the boss. "Rafa has been such a calming influence when he’s on the pitch. We lost him but that’s football."

Report: Atalanta 2 United 2


Cristiano Ronaldo's superb brace sees the Reds claim a vital Champions League point in injury-time.

United, with Varane on the pitch, fell behind to Josip Ilicic's 12th-minute strike, which deceived David De Gea in goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo levelled just before half-time, meaning he has now scored in four consecutive Champions League games, but Duvan Zapata restored La Dea's lead by beating the offside trap and firing past De Gea.

The Reds were staring a damaging defeat in the face, only for Ronaldo to strike once more to salvage what could be a priceless point.

“First look at it, he felt his hamstring as he ran there,” Ole later added in his post-match press conference.

“He didn't want to risk anything. First assessment doesn't look good. Fingers crossed."