Mourinho Says United Couldn’t Have Performed Better Given FC Rostov Conditions

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Manchester United went to FC Rostov tonight for the first leg of their round of 16 Europa League tie, and came back with a decent although not optimal result. When Manager Jose Mourinho addressed the media ahead of the clash, the number one trending topic was the status of the pitch, and the injury risks posed by playing on it.

Mourinho believed the pitch was not playable, at all, and he compared it to the conditions in Beijing this summer, when the preseason friendly Manchester derby was postponed. After the game, he said the team put in a good performance given the conditions.

The Portugese actually said it was impossible to play any better. Before the match, Mourinho said he took his grievances to the UEFA officials about the substandard quality of the surface and they simply told him that his players were  insured. Mourinho’s side overcame their problem to achieve a 1-1 draw today in Russia, putting them in good shape for the return leg at Old Trafford.

The crucial away goal is a big deal, and it’s very advantageous for United towards advancing into the round of eight. Mourinho has said that his side will treat the competition with more urgency, should they advance to the next round. That’s smart because the UEL is the best and most likely path back into UEFA Champions League next season.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan came back to full fitness today, started in the first team and provided the Red Devils only goal. The Manchester leg will be March 16th.

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FC Rostov will be heavy underdogs for that one.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and Bold, contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication, CGTN America, WGN CLTV News and KOZN

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