Why Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot missed Man Utd’s Carabao Cup win over Burnley

The Manchester United defenders were absent for the 2-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Manchester United managed to keep a clean sheet against Burnley on Wednesday despite deploying a makeshift back four in the Carabao Cup win.

The Red Devils beat Vincent Kompany’s side 2-0 at Old Trafford thanks to goals from Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford, while a defence containing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Victor Lindelof and Tyrell Malacia only allowed Burnley to register one shot on target all night.

Erik ten Hag’s selection was very much impacted by his players’ progress at the World Cup, with finalists Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane still yet to return to the club, while Luke Shaw was on the bench for the fourth-round tie. But there were two further absentees announced by United ahead of kick-off, with Diogo Dalot and Harry Maguire missing from the matchday squad.

Speaking before the game, Ten Hag told MUTV: ”Dalot had some complaints, he felt them during his last game with Portugal and Harry unfortunately is ill.”

Wan-Bissaka and Casemiro filled in for the pair against Burnley and both had a few uncomfortable moments at the back, although the former did provide the assist for Eriksen’s opener in the first half.

While Ten Hag refused to be drawn on whether Dalot or Maguire would return for the Premier League clash at home to Nottingham Forest on 27 December, he did seem to imply Wan-Bissaka will be needed in the coming weeks.

“Aaron, we missed him for the first 14 games of the Premier League,” the United manager told MUTV after the match. “We need numbers in the squad, but not only numbers, [players] to play well.

“He’s had good preparation for the second half of the season. He is ready to play and did quite well today,” he added.

Asked about Maguire’s availability, Ten Hag responded: “I can’t speculate on that, we have to wait. Today he was ill and hopefully he’ll recover soon.”

The Dutchman also revealed there is a ‘plan’ in place for when Martinez and Varane return, adding he had been ‘in contact’ with the players while stating he hoped they would be back in the team ‘soon’.