MANCHESTER United put themselves in pole position to reach the Europa League Cup final with a 1-0 first leg win in Spain – and Jose Mourinho will have fresh legs to call on after rotating his squad for the defeat at Arsenal.
Mourinho admitted at the weekend that he had Thursday’s semi final at Old Trafford – and the Stockholm final on May 24 – in mind and he is confident United can see the job out following Marcus Rashford’s stunner at the Estadio de Balaidos.
United should have won by more than the odd goal in Spain and Reds fans hope that they won’t be made to pay the price for a series of squandered chances, most of which went begging in the first half.
Failure to make the most of their domination and chances created has been United’s downfall on many occasions this season – along with their form at Old Trafford where they have drawn more games than Jose would care to dwell on. Most of them coming against the Premier’s lesser sides.
The United boss made eight changes for the defeat by Arsenal at the Emirates – although he didn’t look too disappointed afterwards – and rest assured, the big guns will be back on Thursday night with success in the Europa League their best option of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
In truth, it would be a major shock if the Red Devils failed to finish the job against a Celta side who offered little in the first leg to suggest they can cause an upset, and end United’s quest for the only major trophy they have never won.
Mourinho is expected to recall the vast majority of those who sat out the defeat at the Emirates where Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Matteo Darmian and Ander Herrera were the only three players retained from the first leg against Celta.
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