Last week, after Manchester United played Anderlecht to a 1-1 draw in Belgium, Red Devils Manager Jose Mourinho totally ripped his quartet of attacking players. Mourinho called them out for failing to finish the game and kill it off. He included Zlatan Ibrahimovic in that group, even though the Swede is one of six on the short list for PFA Player of the Year and he’s also been United’s only real weapon this season.
Later in the week, Zlatan Ibrahimovic accepted his manager’s critique, and also admitted that he was fatigued. Perhaps that had something to do with a potentially subpar performance.
Ibrahimovic got some rest against Chelsea, as he didn’t start, but instead came on as a sub in United 2-0 victory over the league leaders, an effort that was certainly the finest of the Mourinho era at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho met the media yesterday ahead of tonight’s second leg against Anderlecht. You can watch the entire news conference and read transcripts of the highlights at this link. Mourinho was asked about his being “disappointed” in Ibra last week.
“I was not disappointed with Zlatan, I was disappointed with the team,” Mourinho responded.
“The team had the game in their hands and did not kill the game. We could be speaking now about a friendly game tomorrow if we won 3-0 in Anderlecht.”
“[The second leg could have been] a nice game, and the chance to play Axel Tuanzebe and some of the other young ones without any kind of pressure. The game was easy to cure, and we did not.”
We’ll see in a few short hours if United can kill the game, finish off Anderlecht and advance to the Europa League semifinals.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and NBC Chicago.com, contributes to Chicago Tribune.com, Bold, WGN CLTV and KOZN.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks