United lost Paul Pogba to a hamstring injury during the last 16 second-leg match against Rostov, which is expected to keep the France midfielder out of action for around three weeks.
United prevailed on the night thanks to a 70th-minute goal by Juan Mata, who finished from close range after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had flicked Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross towards goal. “Obviously in the game they support their team but they did it like it should be done”, Mourinho replied.
“It is fantastic because we manage in the same week, to go to the quarter-finals of the Europa League which is an important target for us. For the next two days, I don’t want news”. Rashford’s all-round play was good but he really could have done with a goal.
“We should be the last team to play in the weekend, it is as simple as that”. Why us, Sunday 12 o’clock?
“Play on Monday with 10 men, enjoying five hours the M6 coming back to Manchester”.
“Don’t make it more hard than it should be”.
Ibrahimovic hit the woodwork from a yard out at an acute angle after Marcos Rojo’s header from Blind’s cross had been saved.
“We are living all these things and let’s see if Sunday we get a point. That would be great result”. That finally took place when Agnew caught up with the United manager in the tunnel.
Despite the imperious form of the Spain global, United went ahead on the half-hour mark after some poor marking from the home side.
Belief grew around the Riverside only for an embarrassing moment to settle the match as Antonio Valencia capitalised on former United teammate Victor Valdes’ slip to wrap up a win that moves his side up to fifth. Man Utd reserves could have won that game tonight.
He added: “So intelligent, so sharp and the first touch to put the ball in the best positions to attack the space to attack the goal for me he played phenomenal”.
Middlesbrough’s next defeat will be their 1000th in the top flight.
Rostov were one of the surprise packages in Europe this season.
However, only four clubs have conceded fewer goals than Middlesbrough. The rebound falls to Valencia whose shot from a tight angle is palmed away to safety by the former United no 1.
The Belgian worldwide midfielder had scored his previous league goal in a 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth in December 2015, but had few problems in ending that barren run with his third goal of the season.
And many United fans took to Twitter immediately after the team was announced to express their displeasure at Mourinho’s selections…