Manchester United gaffer Jose Mourinho says under-fire Paul Pogba deserves respect
Mar 17 2017
The Football Association has charged United for failing to control their players after Ander Herrera's first-half sending off, which threw Mourinho's men off kilter on a night when N'Golo Kante gave his former side a deserved 1-0 win.
Juan Mata scored the victor as Manchester United secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League at the expense of FC Rostov with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
United and Rostov play the second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday.
A 1:1 draw will have to suffice before returning to Old Trafford to advance to the quarter-finals.
After robbing Rostov of possession in the middle of the pitch, Ibrahimovic played the ball out wide to Mkhitaryan, who's cross into the box was flicked on to the back post by Ibrahimovic, where Juan Mata was on-hand to tap home.
Manchester United have never lost to a Russian side on home soil in European competition, but three of those four games have ended all square (W1).
United switched to a back three for the game, perhaps to match up with the Rostov system, though in reality the visitors began with something resembling a flat back five.
A surprisingly hard second half for the Red Devils became even more uncomfortable when Paul Pogba went off with a hamstring injury on 48 minutes.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United (C) scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between FC Rostov and Manchester United at Olimp-2 on March 9, 2017 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. The loss of one midfielder could maybe be absorbed with little adverse reaction, but the absence of their two most prolific players in the engine room and a second figurehead star after Zlatan means they really will be making ends meet at the weekend.
"So we believe that tomorrow we can cope with the situation and fight to be in the quarter-final". Manchester United's presence back in the competition would help establish them as a big European force once again, and to do that, they simply must win the Europa League.
United were reminded of that fact within minutes of the restart, when Rostov mounted their first unsafe counter of the game. Firstly, because he extolled Pogba's virtues to anyone who would listen in the wake of that FA Cup defeat.
And if you're not yet a subscriber to BT Sport - the only place showing Champions League, Europa League, Premier Leagueand FA Cup matches this season - we can get you set up in just 15 minutes right here. Winning the Europa League is United'smost realistic avenue into the Champions League next term, and thus tonight's game holds real significance.