Jose Mourinho exclaimed that it was impossible to play better as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Rostov in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16.
Manchester United failed to register a win in Russia in the first-leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 but walked away from the game with a 1-1 draw and a vital away goal. Jose Mourinho was, however, not disappointed by the result and exclaimed in the post-match conference that his side could not have played better, given the conditions they were playing in.
“ It was a very good performance in relation to the conditions. It was impossible to play better, impossible to play a passing game. We have an open result for the second leg with a little advantage for us. I think we had a positive result. We know we need to win or to have a 0-0 draw so the game is open, the tie is open. But, in these circumstances, I think it was a good result.”
The away goal is vital and Jose Mourinho agreed on the same, while also throwing caution to the wind, saying that the tie is still open and highlighted that Rostov has one more day to prepare for the return leg than the Red Devils. The Portuguese though, highlighted that the home support should be enough to tip them over and into the Quarters.
Jose Mourinho (still) isn’t a fan of the Rostov pitch. pic.twitter.com/ocXFyiT0Cp
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) March 9, 2017
“ An away goal is always positive; it’s better 1-1 than 0-0, obviously. But the game is open, the result is open. They play Sunday against Terek Grozny, we play Monday against Chelsea – they know they have more time. It’s more difficult but we are one step from the quarter-finals. Old Trafford will push us and hopefully we’ll get to the quarter-finals.”
Jose Mourinho also talked about the change in formation and how it was done to adapt to the conditions of the pitch and to counter Rostov’s playing style. Among various other topics, Mourinho also lauded the Rostov fans and their behaviour while saying that he hopes the fans of the Russian team are welcomed in the same manner to Old Trafford as well.
“ I think everything was magnificent. People have been nice to us since we landed, in the game they supported their team like it should be done. Our supporters behaved properly. Hopefully the Rostov fans who go to Old Trafford next week have great conditions now to be welcomed and for everything to be an example.”
Manchester United do hold a slender advantage going into the second leg, with the away goal and the fact that they are set to play in front of their home crowd in the return leg. But, Rostov showed they can go toe-to-toe with United and the Red Devils should be wary of the threat posed by the Russian outfit.