Jose Mourinho was unhappy with Saint-Etienne winger Romain Hamouma after ten-man Manchester United defeated Saint-Etienne 1-0

United ran out 4-0 winners on aggregate after Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the scoring for the Red Devils only to be substituted with an injury shortly after. The Armenian is now a doubt for the EFL Cup final against Southampton on Sunday.

United looked comfortable throughout the match but were dealt some bad news in quick succession after Michael Carrick limped off with a suspected calf injury, before Eric Bailly was then sent off for two bookable offences in the space of just 185 seconds.

Speaking after the game, Mourinho accused Saint-Etienne winger Romain Hamouma – who was on the receiving end of both of Bailly’s challenges – of diving and also admitted that Mkhitaryan and Carrick would likely be unavailable for the EFL Cup final.

“Hamouma has good qualities but he enjoyed too much the diving and the simulation, so he gets in these situations. Eric can’t play the first match of the next round. Rojo came in and did well and hopefully Jones will be back soon. So one misses, it’s an opportunity for another,” he said, according to the club’s official website.

“I think they are both out [of the final] but this is based on my experience, not on my medical knowledge and not based on tests and what they have to do tomorrow. I think no chance but I repeat it’s just my experience. A calf, a hamstring, even if it’s a minor injury, some fibre damage, I think out.”

Manchester United's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho gestures during the UEFA Europa League football match between AS Saint-Etienne and Manchester United on February 22, 2017, at the Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, central France. / AFP / PHILIPPE DESMAZES (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)
Slight regret at playing key players? (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

Bailly will now miss the first leg of United’s round of 16 clash after picking up a one-match suspension. The more pressing concern, however, will be that of how serious the injuries to Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick are.

It was perhaps a game where United did not need to field their key players as they went into the tie as overwhelming favourites after comfortable beating Saint-Etienne 3-0 in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.

Many of United’s fringe players could have got some valuable game time but Mourinho clearly did not want to take any chances and opted to field a strong squad against the French side to ensure their progression.

Despite the negatives from the match Mourinho was nevertheless pleased with his side’s performance and will be hoping for more of the same on Sunday, when the Portuguese manager has a chance to win the EFL Cup in his first season with the Red Devils.

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