Jose Mourinho reflects on Rostov draw

Jose Mourinho reflects on Rostov draw

Jose Mourinho was satisfied with the performance and the result as Manchester United took control of the Europa League Round of 16 tie against FC Rostov with a 1-1 draw in Russia.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a crucial away goal in the first half for the Reds, which was cancelled out in the second period by Aleksandr Bukharov, putting United in a good position heading into next week’s second leg at Old Trafford.  

The boss discussed a number of talking points after the game at the Olimp-2 stadium including the pitch, Mkhitaryan and the Rostov supporters.

Here are the main points from his post-match interview with MUTV, BT Sport and his press conference…

“It was a very good performance in relation to the conditions. It was impossible to play better, impossible to play a passing game. We played what the game demanded and we played well. We made one defensive mistake. We have an open result for the second leg with a little advantage for us. There are no injuries. 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 game plan was that we know they don’t try to play – they tried to put the ball always to the front, into their strikers. That’s the way they play on this pitch and so the best thing to do was to play three at the back.”

“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 and, on the pitch, it was an example – the players fought really hard for every ball but in a positive way. 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.”

“An away goal is always positive; it’s better 1-1 than 0-0, obviously. But the game is open, the result is open and this Rostov team has experience of playing big matches, big opponents, big stadiums. I don’t think it’s a problem for them to go to Old Trafford and play us. 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.” Keeping doors open

“We want to keep two doors open. We have to keep getting points in the Premier League to keep our chances open and, if we get through the knockout round here, we’re in the quarter-finals and feel the door is open. So we have to try. We have a trophy in our pocket, which is a good feeling for everyone. Now we have the Premier League for the fight for the top four and we have the Europa League fight against Rostov.”

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