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24th Jul 2017

Eric Bailly receives additional two-match suspension

Out for the Super Cup and Champions League group opener

Darragh Murphy

Jose Mourinho will not be able to call upon Eric Bailly for Manchester United’s opening Champions League group game next season.

Uefa have clarified the suspension that the United centre-half will have to serve after being sent off late on in last season’s Europa League semi-final second leg clash with Celta Vigo.

Bailly was suspended for the final, in which United beat Ajax 2-0, and his ban has been extended to include the upcoming Super Cup meeting with Real Madrid on August 8 as well as the Red Devils’ Champions League group opener.

Mourinho branded Bailly “naive” for his red card and, with Marcos Rojo injured, he will have to presumably depend on new signing Victor Lindelof and one of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling or Daley Blind as his centre-half partner for the matches.

Since signing from Villarreal in 2016, Bailly has cemented himself as United’s first-choice central defender and has been likened to the legendary Nemanja Vidic for his leadership qualities at the back.

His absence will come as a significant blow for United, who were also issued with a warning from Uefa for a late kick-off in the semi-final.