Man United boss hails McTominay after draw

  • uefa champions league
- Agence France-Presse, SEVILLE

Feb 23, 2018-

Jose Mourinho described Scott McTominay as “fantastic” in response to his decision to select the young midfielder ahead of Paul Pogba for Wednesday’s Champions League last 16, first-leg draw with Sevilla.

Pogba had been left out of the starting lineup for the goalless draw with Mourinho apparently unhappy after the French star withdrew from last weekend’s FA Cup win at Huddersfield Town citing illness. That followed criticism from Mourinho of Pogba’s recent performances, with the Portuguese making a statement by selecting McTominay, 21, alongside Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic in midfield.

Mourinho later complained that there had been too much focus on Pogba before and after the match, and not enough on a player making his second Champions League start. 

Pogba played most of the game anyway, being sent on after just 17 minutes when injury forced Herrera off. The French star played his part in a typically cautious, backs-to-the-wall away European performance from Mourinho’s side. But, 

tellingly, he later refused to stop for journalists in the mixed zone of the Sanchez Pizjuan. 

“Paul made a big effort to try to give the team what I asked of them,” insisted Mourinho. “He gave us stability. For a match away to Sevilla we had a good percentage of the ball, and I think Paul had responsibility for that.”

The injury to Herrera came after the Spaniard had been passed fit to return from a hamstring injury that had kept him out of United’s previous three games. He could now face another untimely spell on the sidelines, with United’s programme including Premier League games against Chelsea and Liverpool before the Sevilla second leg on March 13.


Sevilla 0-0 Man United

Shakhtar 2-1 Roma

Fred gives Shakhtar edge over Roma

KHARKIV: Shakhtar Donetsk fought back from a goal down as Fred’s freekick gave the Ukrainian champions a 2-1 victory over Roma on Wednesday in their Champions League last 16, first leg.

Turkish youngster Cengiz Under marked his Champions League debut for Roma with a well-taken 41st-minute opener. But second-half strikes from Facundo Ferreyra and Fred left the tie finely balanced ahead of the return game at the Stadio Olimpico in three weeks’ time.

“My team has everything they needed to play 90 minutes at a high level so the mistakes we’ve made were mental,” Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco said. “I told the team to play the second half the way we played the first, but what I’ve seen on the pitch is that the team were happy to defend. We need to work on that problem.” Roma are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years while Shakhtar. (AFP)

Published: 23-02-2018 09:47

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