Manchester United holds a lone goal advantage over their Spanish opponents, Celta Vigo in the quest for the finals spot in this year’s Europa League competition. As they host the floundering team from Spain, Mourinho must be aware that this is a cup final and Celta Vigo will come out with all guns blazing.
United had struggled to score goals this season. Many matches that otherwise should have been ‘walk over’ became tough mountains to climb leading to the severe criticism of the huge summer transfer expenses at the club.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the only exception in the ratings of diehard fans of the Red Devils. The Swede scored virtually all the goals and rolled back the years to stamp his foot as the main man in his new surroundings.
Unfortunately he is injured and out for the season.
Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial haven’t managed to light up anything. Neither has Paul Pogba and Juan Matta made the type of impact expected of them.
Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera have been excellent for Manchester United in the recent past. Certainly, this should be to the relief of Jose Mourinho who is always quick to notice trends.
Rashford’s strike in Spain separates the sides and Mourinho will be more than hopeful of another or couple to put the game to bed.
It was obvious from the EPL match at the Emirates that Mourinho has his mind and attention fully fixed on this game.
Mourinho rested Paul Pogba, Bailly and Rashford against Arsenal. Intensions are clear that a win against Celta Vigo and transition into the finals are burning desires for Manchester United rather than the battle for top four in England.
Additional motivation is the fact that the winner of this trophy gets an automatic qualification into the Champions League.
The winner is scheduled to meet either Ajax (favourites) or Lyon in the finals to be played at Friends Arena Stockholm, Sweden.
Winning this competition is the fastest route for Manchester United to avoid Thursday night football next season and Jose Mourinho is backed to move to the finals!