Daley Blind injury in Netherlands win adds to Manchester United woe

The win was the Netherlands’ first in three matches, after losing at home to Mexico in a friendly on Friday and to Iceland in the previous round of European Championship qualifiers

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The Independent Online

The Manchester United defensive midfielder Daley Blind could be out for up to six weeks with knee-ligament damage, which overshadowed the Netherlands’ 6-0 win over Latvia last night. Blind lasted only 19 minutes at the Amsterdam Arena before limping off after a collision with Eduards Visnakovs.

United, who travel to Arsenal on Saturday, are already stretched through suspensions and injury, with David de Gea and Michael Carrick also succumbing during the international break. Blind played at centre-back in their last Premier League match against Crystal Palace because of injuries in defence.

Guus Hiddink, the Netherlands coach, said: “I’m rather negative. I think it’s a medial ligament that is twisted. It might be a rupture.” He added that Blind would have an MRI scan today.

Blind is almost certain to miss the trip to Arsenal and if the ligament is ruptured he is facing the prospect of an extended period on the sidelines.

The win was the Netherlands’ first in three matches, after losing at home to Mexico in a friendly on Friday and to Iceland in the previous round of European Championship qualifiers. Hiddink, who has overseen four losses in his first five matches, had threatened to walk away if his team lost again. Arjen Robben and Klaas van Huntelaar both scored twice, with Robin van Persie and Jeffrey Bruma adding the other goals.

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Croatia coach Niko Kovac tells fans to stop throwing fireworks

Van Persie, who opened the scoring, admitted the poor run that the Dutch have been going through had been playing on his mind. “There was a lot of pressure from all sides,” he said. “I was more nervous than usual. We’re only human.”

Robben and Huntelaar gave The Netherlands a comfortable 3-0 cushion at the break. Bruma scored his first for his country with 12 minutes remaining, before Robben and Huntelaar put more gloss on the result.

Italy and Croatia face sanctions from Uefa after their match at the San Siro was suspended for 10 minutes because of away fans throwing fireworks and flares. After the missiles rained down on to the pitch, riot police were then seen entering the section where the Croatia fans were located.

Flares were also  thrown on to the field after Ivan Perisic  cancelled out Antonio Candreva’s goal for Italy and play was interrupted for around three minutes, although the players stayed on the field. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, which kept the two sides level at the top of Group H .

Israel took over the lead of Group B from Wales after a 3-0 home win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. Gil Vermouth and Omer Damari scored in the first half, before Toni Sunjic was sent off for the visitors after the break. Eran Zahavi added the third with 20 minutes to go.

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