Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Victor Lindelof was excluded from the matchday squad to face Chelsea on Monday night after being sidelined with an illness.
“Victor has fallen ill. Eric has been champing at the bit recently. He’s played a couple of behind-closed-door games with the Reserves. He’s ready; hopefully he’ll get a good night,” he told in the pre-match interview.
In the absence of Lindelof, Eric Bailly was handed with his first competitive appearance of the campaign in a three-man backline including Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw.
The Ivorian was hugely influential during the course of the Premier League clash where he made three key blocks to deny Willian, Michy Batshuayi and Mateo Kovacic from testing the goalkeeper.
Overall, Maguire definitely had a dominating presence with his multiple clearances and crucial goal in the second half, but the fans should be pleased with Bailly returning to league action with a solid display.
United picked up their third-straight win over the Blues this season with the 2-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge and they have now moved within a couple of points off the Champions League places.
Obviously, Solskjaer’s side had some luck on their side with Maguire escaping a possible red card, but that does not matter so long as the club are edging closer to their pursuit of Champions League football.
United’s immediate focus will shift to the Europa League where they are scheduled to face Belgian side Club Brugge on the road in the first leg of the round of 32 stage.