12 Manchester United players hit by ‘food poisoning outbreak’

Several Manchester United players felt ill after the Sheriff win

Manchester United returned from Moldova with more than just three points – they also reportedly brought back food poisoning.

United picked up a 2-0 win over FC Sheriff in the Europa League on Thursday night on their first trip to the Eastern European country. First-half goals from Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo saw Erik ten Hag’s side bounce back from their opening round defeat against Real Sociedad in the competition.

It was a professional showing from United, who showed further signs of clicking under their new manager. But the trip was not entirely satisfactory, with The Sun reporting that 12 of the travelling party began to feel ill upon their return on Friday morning.

United returned straight away from Chisinau on a private jet after the game, yet still picked up an unknown illness, which it is believed could have come from something they ate, or from the plane itself. A few players missed the scheduled recovery training session on Friday at Carrington, while some were still too unwell to turn up the following day.

Thankfully for Ten Hag, he did not have to prepare quickly for the home match against Leeds United, which was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday. The game was postponed due to a lack of available police ahead of the Queen’s state funeral on Monday at Westminster Abbey.

The illness is not believed to have prevented any of United’s players from meeting up with their respective national teams for the international break. Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and Germany – but Marcus Rashford and Sancho did not get the call.

Manchester United took a private jet to and from Moldova

Ten Hag is planning to use the two-week break to continue his work on the training pitch. “It’s very useful. We have many meetings, we have to improve the structures in and around the club,” he said after the Sheriff win.

“We will also look to the window in January or next summer already to improve our way of playing by making plans. Of course, [you get these] periods after a game, but we have to be ready for that and many players, let’s say 90 per cent, are away. But the others, we will train properly and for the rest we have to prepare very well. I hope that everyone stays fit and return back healthy and then we have to get into attack.”

United face a stern test after the break, with a trip across town to play rivals Manchester City in the derby on October 2. They will then be on the road once more, jetting off to Cyprus to play Omonia in the Europa League on October 6.

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