Rafael injury not as serious as feared

Manchester United full-back Rafael will miss Saturday's FA Cup tie with Southampton after being carried off on a stretcher at Blackpool last night with concussion.

The Brazilian defender was involved in a sickening collision with Marlon Harewood and was taken to hospital for X-rays.

Thankfully, he was quickly given the all-clear and was able to return to Manchester with his team-mates following the dramatic 3-2 win.

However, as with all cases of concussion, United will ensure Rafael gets the correct break from physical contact and the 20-year-old will not travel to the south coast for this weekend's fourth-round tie.

Meanwhile, Javier Hernandez has admitted he should have had a hat-trick at Bloomfield Road.

The Mexican nabbed the equaliser 16 minutes from time, having failed to beat Richard Kingson with a similar opportunity not long after his introduction as a second-half substitute for Wayne Rooney.

It took his tally for the season to 10, but Hernandez might have also added to his side's lead during the 10 minutes of stoppage time.

"I could have had a hat-trick," he said.

"But I always say the most important thing is that the team wins and we get the three points.

"It doesn't matter who scores. We just want the championship."

Hernandez's exploits in his first season at Old Trafford have already earned him a place in the affections of United fans.

Yet even he is being put in the shade by Dimitar Berbatov, who added another two to his tally, taking him on to 20 for the campaign, which includes five in the last four days following the weekend hat-trick against Birmingham.

"Dimitar's form is unbelievable," said Hernandez.

"He is a great player. He is improving every day on the training ground and also in the games. He is an excellent help for us."

As a relative newcomer to the club, Hernandez is still learning about the comeback exploits for which United are so famous.

Yet he accepts the desire for victory within the camp runs as deep as their legendary self-belief.

"We didn't play so well in the first half but we know the quality of the team and we knew we could score three goals in the second half," he said.

"We were always confident we could get back into the game.

"Even if it had been 2-2 in the final minute we would have thought we could get a goal."

United are now five points ahead of Arsenal and six in front of Manchester City, on whom they still have a game in hand.

They also remain unbeaten, a record they will not want to lose when they are next in Premier League action, against in-form Aston Villa next Tuesday.

"This win was very important," said Hernandez.

"We knew with these three points we would be at the top with a bit of a difference between ourselves and the rest."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee