Manchester United had to abandon a friendly game just minutes before kick-off yesterday due to the opposition manager testing positive for coronavirus.
The Red Devils were due to play Stoke City at Carrington but less than an hour before kick off the teams were given the news that the game would not go ahead because visiting manager Michael O’Neill had tested positive.
Former Northern Ireland manager O’Neill had been tested for the sixth time at Stoke’s training ground on Monday and was only informed of the results shortly before the game was due to start, when he was already at the AON Training Complex with his side.
There was no contact between the sides. The strict protocols at Carrington require that visitors gather at what is known as a ‘biobubble’ and kept in a separate part of the complex from the United players until cleared. A training ground source told The Mirror:
‘United’s players were getting ready for the game but all of a sudden there was chaos as the positive test was confirmed.
‘Stoke were rushed out of the Academy very quickly indeed. United’s officials didn’t hang about – they had Stoke out of there really quickly as you’d imagine.
‘Fortunately, when they first arrived, Stoke players had been taken to the “bio bubble” area at the Academy building which is where testing of players is usually carried out.
‘Because of that they didn’t come into contact or even see any of United’s squad.
‘It could have been a scary situation but United’s protocols were absolutely spot on and prevented what could have been a major problem with the season now just days away.’
According to The Telegraph, ‘United hastily arranged a friendly between their own players, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Harry Maguire, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Daniel James pictured arriving at Carrington shortly after Stoke’s players had left.
‘Solskjaer is hoping to arrange another practice game for later this week, with a workout against Championship promotion contenders West Bromwich Albion.’
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