Manchester United extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 15 points with a 2-0 win over bottom club QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday, but Robin van Persie limped off in the first-half with a hip injury.
The Dutch striker was injured in the build-up to Rafael’s spectacular opener for the visitors, as he fell down a camera bunker after crossing the ball from the by-line. The incident happened after 22 minutes of the clash, with the former Arsenal hitman being replaced by Danny Welbeck on the 40-minute mark.
The Red Devils had the required firepower to claim victory against QPR, with Ryan Giggs scoring the decisive second goal, however all eyes are now on United’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5th.
Sir Alex Ferguson will hope to have the attacker available for the game against the Spanish giants, and revealed that Van Persie would undergo tests today to ascertain the extent of the injury.
“He collided with a camera, which was in a dug-out piece of ground. He hit the base of it and has a very bruised hip.
“I imagine it will be tender and sore for a few days but hopefully he will be all right, especially for the Madrid game.”
Van Persie is the top scorer in the Premier League this term with 19 strikes to date, and his absence against Madrid would be a significant blow as United look to win the tie after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.
United are also likely to be without Phil Jones for the clash with Madrid, as the versatile 20-year-old is struggling to recover from an ankle injury in time for the game. The former Blackburn man has become an important part of the Red Devils’ side, and has been utilised as a defensive midfielder in recent games.
Jones was successful in limiting the effect Gareth Bale had in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham in January, and also kept Marouane Fellaini quiet in the 2-0 win over Everton. After going toe-to-toe with Cristiano Ronaldo in the first leg of the Champions League tie in Spain, Jones was expected to fulfil a similar role in the return encounter.
Despite this, Ferguson has confessed that Jones is fighting a losing battle to be fit in time to play against Jose Mourinho’s men.
“Phil is the one we’re really concerned about in terms of the Real Madrid game. We’re working hard, but I would say he’s got an outside chance, no more.”
Meanwhile, Madrid continued their improved domestic form with a 2-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday. Los Blancos trailed at the half-time mark after Riki’s opener, however strikes from Kaka and an 88th minute Gonzalo Higuain winner gave the capital-city side the three points.
Madrid now face rivals Barcelona twice in the next week before heading to England to face United. The Spanish pair clash at Camp Nou in the Copa Del Rey in midweek, before playing again in La Liga at the Bernabeu next Saturday.