Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Rooney out, Sanchez in as Man Utd face Arsenal

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Manchester United. PHOTO: Geoff CADDICK / AFP

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney started on the bench for Saturday’s Premier League showdown with Arsenal following a week of unflattering headlines.

Rooney, 31, had to apologise after being pictured looking the worse for wear as he mingled with guests during a late-night wedding party at the England team hotel last weekend.

Having withdrawn from England duty with a minor knee injury, he started on the bench for United, with 19-year-old Marcus Rashford filling in up front for the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

In total, United manager Jose Mourinho made four changes as Antonio Valencia, back after a fractured arm, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Rashford came into his starting XI.

There was a big boost for Arsenal, who can provisionally go top of the table with victory, after Alexis Sanchez was passed fit to start up front.

Sanchez scored twice for Chile in a 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay on Tuesday, despite Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger warning it would be “suicidal” for him to play due to a hamstring problem.

Wenger made three changes from the 1-1 derby draw with Tottenham Hotspur as Carl Jenkinson, Mohamed Elneny and Aaron Ramsey replaced Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi.

Right-back Bellerin has been ruled out for four weeks with an ankle injury.

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