By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Matteo Darmian was rushed to hospital after suffering a sickening head injury in Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday.

The United right-back clashed heads with Shane Long when they had an aerial challenge in the second half of the Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Darmian was immediately substituted at the 60-minute mark and was replaced by Paddy McNair as the Italian became the sixth senior injured full-back in United’s squad.

Asked about Darmian’s condition at his post-match media conference, manager Louis Van Gaal said: “He’s in hospital. He was spitting blood so we have to wait and see.”

Van Gaal was already without five senior full-backs, with Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Phil Jones unavailable for selection due to injury.

The defeat for United, coupled with victories for new leaders Leicester and Tottenham, leaves Van Gaal’s team fifth in the Premier League on 37 points, 10 adrift of the top.