Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: This is why I’m happy with draw against Rostov

Manchester United's draw in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie makes them favourites to finish the job at Old Trafford next Thursday and clinch their place in the last eight of a competition that offers the winners a back-door route into the Champions League.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan's first-half goal was cancelled out by Aleksandr Bukharov's strike in the second half but Jose Mourinho was happy with the result and his team's attitude in difficult conditions.

"It was a very good performance in relation to the conditions," he said. "It was impossible to play better, impossible to play a passing game.

"We played what the game demanded and we played well. We made one defensive mistake. We have an open result for the second leg with a little advantage for us. There are no injuries.

"I think we go home with a positive result. We know that it will be a tough match and we need to win or have a 0-0 draw so the tie is open, but in these circumstances I think it is a positive result.

"I did not see us conceding but we did. They are very direct and do not use the wingers. Our three central defenders had a very positive game. An away goal is always positive, 1-1 is better than 0-0 obviously, but Rostov have experience of playing big matches and big stadiums. I don't think it's a problem for them to compete against us."

Meanwhile, Mourinho will not sacrifice United's FA Cup hopes by fielding a team of youngsters from Nicky Butt's academy for their sixth-round tie at Chelsea on Monday just to ensure they stay in the Europa League.

Neighbours City fielded a depleted team for a fifth-round tie at Stamford Bridge last season because of their Champions League commitments.

But Mourinho, who is eager to avenge a 4-0 Premier League hammering at his former club earlier this season, added: "On Monday we don't go [to Chelsea] with Nicky Butt team. Manchester United is too big, it is the winner of the competition.

"It is not Chelsea's fault that we were given this Monday match so we have to make changes for sure because we play Monday while Rostov play Sunday, but we can't go to Stamford Bridge with a Nicky Butt team."

Read More Detail

Share this post:

Recent Posts

Comments are closed.