Manchester United Football Club did the job tonight, as Jose Mourinho’s team beat Saint-Etienne by a 1-0 scoreline. The result never looked in doubt and was comfortable from the off, and a large part of that is down to the fact that the gaffer played a very strong line-up.
Many (myself included), expected the Red Devils to ring the changes ahead of the EFL Cup final this coming Sunday, but the self-proclaimed Special One wasn’t about to do that.
Before the game kicked off, the manager was asked questions about the decision to play his strongest XI, and his response certainly makes plenty of sense.
“I don’t want to lose matches by sending the wrong message to my players with a weak line-up,” Jose Mourinho is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
“Anything can happen in football and we have a situation that we shouldn’t waste.”
“We shouldn’t put ourselves in great danger.”
“I’m not saying that we have to score immediately, but we have to start playing well immediately.”
“It’s an important game. We will try to get the result and go through to the draw on Friday.”
Hindsight is certainly a wonderful thing, and now it looks unlikely that both Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be available for the Southampton game now.
With that said, it is obviously wonderful to be in the draw for the next round. Who knows, if the manager did decide to play a completely different starting eleven, we may be sat here now feeling down and depressed and cursing him.
It is definitely the right mentality to have, though. He’s a coach who is a born winner, no matter how much it looked like the tie was in the bag. Onto the next one we go!