The Hard Tackle takes a look at the various news in and around Manchester United.
Manchester United earned a 1-0 win at Old Trafford against Tottenham over the weekend and would be looking for back-to-back wins as they travel to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Before the match, though, let us take a look at some of the news surrounding the Red Devils.
Mourinho happy with Europa League draw
Manchester United have drawn Ligue 1 side AS Saint Etienne as their opponents for the first knockout phase of the current Europa League campaign. The Red Devils will play the first leg at Old Trafford on February 16 and travel to France for the second leg the weekend after.
Jose Mourinho talked to MUTV and was pleased with the draw in the fact that United would only have to travel to France and avoid long journeys.
He said,“ It is a short flight [that] is the only thing is that is really good because we’ve had Ukraine and Istanbul, and February is a busy period with lots of matches. So it’s good for us that it is a short flight.”
Mourinho, though, also said positive things about the opposition.
“It’s a French club and they have quality. It’s a historical club; despite many years without titles, it’s a big club with big tradition. It’s the club where Michel Platini, before he went to Italy, did amazingly well in an amazing team that was dominant in France in that period, so it’s a historical club.”
The fixture serves as a reunion of sorts with Paul Pogba set to go up against his brother Florentin Pogba.
Players fuming over booing of Marouane Fellaini
Jose Mourinho chose to bring Marouane Fellaini on at the end right when Manchester United were winning against Tottenham by a scoreline of 1-0. The Belgian had already faced the wrath of the fans on social media for his part in their 1-1 draw at Everton.
And as Fellaini started to warm up, a large section of the crowd started jeering the midfielder before the boos were overcome with claps as he came on. There are reports that Fellaini had to be consoled in the dressing room after the match. Phil Jones revealed that the stars were not happy with how Fellaini was treated to by the fans.
“It is disappointing but he is a strong boy. He is mentally strong to cope with that don’t worry,” said Phil, as per Daily Mail.
Mourinho dedicated the win to Fellaini while also stating that the move to bring the Belgian on was a show of his confidence in the player and that Fellaini continues to be an important player in the squad.
Jose said, “In the last match, it was him that was involved in the loss of two points, and that’s why I want to make it clear he is an important player for me. He is a player that I like. He will always have my protection.”
Manchester United Under-18s bow out of FA Youth Cup
Manchester United Under-18s failed to replicate their league form into the FA Youth Cup as Kieran McKenna’s side bowed out of the FA Youth Cup in the third round, with a 2-1 loss to Southampton. Tahith Chong opened the scoring for the Red Devils in the 64th minute of the game after coming on in the second half.
United looked to be heading towards a toiling 1-0 win but Southampton staged a late comeback and two goals in the last eight minutes of the game. The defeat knocked out McKenna’s side, who were tipped as one of the teams to be the main contenders for the cup.
Other Manchester United news
Arsenal are targeting a move for Jesse Lingard with Wenger prepared to double the Englishman’s wage offer compared to the 60,000 per-week reportedly being offered by Manchester United at the moment.
Manchester United legend Gary Neville has stated that Jose Mourinho’s decision to drop Juan Mata to the bench has brought about a smoothness and improvement in Manchester United’s performance.
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