By Simon Jennings
Football fans in England were wincing over their breakfast on Wednesday as horrific pictures of Luke Shaw’s broken leg were splashed across the nation’s newspapers.
The Manchester United left-back suffered a gruesome double fracture in Tuesday night’s Champions League tie against PSV Eindhoven after a scything tackle in the penalty box from Hector Moreno that left the young England international in tears, needing oxygen, and out of the game for months.
The game was stopped for eight minutes while medical staff attended to Shaw, who was stretchered off with an oxygen mask strapped to his face.
“First of all I wanna send my strength to @LukeShaw23. I’ve been through this before and I know how it feels so I hope a fast recovery for you and see u again on the field. All the best,” Moreno, who was heavily criticised by fans and pundits alike on social media, said on Twitter after the game.
Moreno broke his leg when playing for Mexico against Louis van Gaal’s Holland at the 2014 World Cup.
Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli did not penalise Moreno or award a penalty kick for the tackle, which United manager Van Gaal later described as “awful”.
“When I say it is a red card and penalty, you will say I am a bad loser. Every word I say is taken in the wrong way. It was in the 18-yard box and it was very bad tackle with two legs,” Van Gaal said after the game, which United lost 2-1.
“It is a double fracture. He will go to Manchester for surgery. It is very bad and sad for him, but also for our team,” the Dutchman added.
Shaw had been in top form this season after a difficult first year at Old Trafford following his big-money move from Southampton.
He had started all of United’s eight games so far and played for England in their Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland, impressing so much that Van Gaal had commented that “this will be the season of Luke Shaw – that I believe.”