Luke Shaw breaks leg in Man U Champions League nightmare
Defender out for months after double fracture as United's return to the big time goes badly wrong
PSV Eindhoven 2 Manchester United 1
Luke Shaw suffered a double fracture of his right leg as Manchester United endured the worst possible start to their Champions League campaign. Back in Europe's showpiece competition after a season's absence, United were beaten 2-1 by PSV Eindhoven but it was the injury to Shaw that hurt most.
The 20-year-old full-back was felled by a fierce challenge from Mexican centre-back Hector Moreno after just 14 minutes and immediately it was obvious Shaw had suffered a nasty injury. Play was held up for ten minutes as medical staff treated Shaw, who required oxygen. The defender, who has been a regular for United this season, as well as playing in England's European Championship qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland, was stretchered off in agony.
"It is awful," said manager Louis van Gaal afterwards. "It was a very bad tackle. He had the oxygen mask on and was crying in the dressing room."
United later disclosed that Shaw has fractured his tibia and fibula, and will undergo surgery in the coming days. According to BBC Sport the injury is similar to the one suffered by Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey in 2010. The Welshman was out of action for nine months as a consequence and Ramsey was one of several players to extend his sympathy to Shaw on social media. "Fingers crossed for Luke Shaw," tweeted Ramsey. "Get well soon."
Shaw took to Twitter himself on Tuesday evening, writing: "Thank you everyone for your messages, words can't describe how gutted I am, my road to recovery starts now, I will come back stronger."
Despite the severity of Shaw's injury, United remained composed and Memphis Depay put them one up on 41 minutes when he scored against his old club after a weaving run. But Moreno levelled for the hosts on the stroke of a half-time, the Mexican rising above the United defence to head home from a Maxime Lestienne corner.
A header also provided PSV's winner, this time Luciano Narsingh getting on the end of a brilliant cross from Andres Guardado to beat David de Gea on 57 minutes.
United had their chances to level - in total they had 17 shots on goal to PSV's six - but despite their dominance, and the encouraging displays of Depay and Anthony Martial, the English club couldn't find the Dutch net.
But in his post-match interview, Van Gaal was more concerned with Shaw's injury than he was the result, the Dutchman expressing his amazement that Moreno escaped censure for the tackle. "When I say it is a red card and penalty, you will say I am a bad loser," declared Van Gaal. "Every word I say is taken in the wrong way. It was in the 18-yard box and it was very bad tackle with two legs."
United's next Champions League match is at Old Trafford on 30 September against German club Wolfsburg, who beat CSKA Moscow in their Group B opener, but Shaw's first taste of the tournament is likely to be his last for a while.
"I'm not a doctor so I cannot say, but when you have a double fracture it is four to six months," said Van Gaal, when asked for his prognosis. "He won't play in the group stage, I don't think. I hope he will play again this season."