Manchester United’s difficult evening in Rotterdam was almost made worse as Chris Smalling nearly missed the flight home after struggling to produce a sample at doping control.

The stand-in captain was selected along with midfielder Ander Herrera for routine testing by anti-doping officers.

Manchester United’s Chris Smalling during the warm-up before the game (Steve Paston/EMPICS Sport)

However, having spoken to MUTV, the defender struggled to produce a sample – common due to post-match dehydration – and was close to falling foul of United’s tight schedule.

Smalling’s car was eventually rushed to the airport with a police escort, just making it in time to return with the rest of the squad on Thursday evening.

Einde dienst. 1 speler van MU op het nippertje op het #vliegtuig gezet. Kon niet plassen bij de #dopingcontrole 😊

— RE_Klipsteen (@RE_Klipsteen) September 15, 2016

The officer that helped pave the way for the defender posted a photo on Twitter. You’ll have to trust us on the translation:Â ”End of service. 1 player of MU in the nick (of time) put on the plane. Could not urinate at the doping control.”

United return to action on Sunday lunchtime at Watford looking to avoid a third successive defeat in all competitions.