Date: 19th February 2006 at 10:40am
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You could see by the concern shown by Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and John Arne Riise that Alan Smith has suffered a major injury. And the United midfielder will be out for nine months.

Substitute Smith fell badly in the closing minutes of the fifth-round FA Cup tie at Anfield and was carried off after several minutes of treatment on the pitch.

The former Leeds man was taken straight to hospital and has a fractured lower left leg and dislocated ankle.

Rafael Benitez said: ‘We are all so sorry for Smith, it is a great pity such things happen and we all wish him good luck.

‘As a manager you do not want to see any player hurt. But sadly this is football and I can only offer my concern and just enjoy the victory with my team and our fans.’

Sir Alex Ferguson: ‘Alan’s injury is a really bad one, a long-term injury but he knows he will have our full support. The best thing we can do is to win the Carling Cup next week.

‘I was following the flight of the ball but saw the reaction of the lads so I knew it was a bad one.’