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."



News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'