Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand accuse Jose Mourinho of living in the past after Manchester United scrape past Young Boys

28 Nov

Manchester United legends Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand have both criticised Jose Mourinho’s attitude, accusing him of putting himself ahead of the team.

The Red Devils once again failed to impress as they sneaked past Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday night, with Marouane Fellaini’s last-minute goal earning the home side a barely-deserved 1-0 win.

Manchester United players celebrate their winner against Young Boys.

Mourinho celebrated the late winner wildly, kicking and throwing a collection of water bottles, and took aim at his critics in his post-match interviews.

With United booking their last place in the last 16 thanks to the win, Mourinho said: “Let me send a message to my lovers and say that I played Champions League for 14 years and I qualified 14 times.

“And the two years where I didn’t play Champions League, I won the Europa League twice, so in 16 years, 14 times I qualify and twice I play Europa League and I won.

“Just a little curiosity for my lovers and the lovers of the stats.”

Those comments prompted criticism from Ferdinand and Scholes, two United greats.

Ferdinand told BT Sport: “No one doubts the history he’s put down the trophies he’s won. None of us sit here and say he was terrible before at Real Madrid or Chelsea – he was fantastic.

“But we’re talking about here and now. Why are we looking back at his past stuff? You look forward. You look at what you’re doing now.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes

Scholes then added: “It’s always ‘I’ isn’t it. ‘I won the Champions League. I won the Europa League’. Last time I looked football was a team game.”

Ferdinand continued: “The first part of the interview I thought was spot on. It was the last part of it that leaves a sour taste in your mouth. It comes back to ‘me’.”

Scholes then went back: “The best attacking teams in the world play attacking football. The way his team is playing now is looking out of date.”

“If they play against a half-decent team there they get beat.

“It reminded me very much of the Seville game last year. They huffed and puffed and quality was really lacking in every area of the pitch.

“I feel sorry for Young Boys, they were excellent second half, and if they had a little bit of quality about them they win that game.”

Manchester United player ratings: How did Jose Mourinho’s men fare against young Boys in the Champions League?

27 Nov

Marouane Fellaini spared Jose Mourinho’s blushes as he popped up with a late winner to secure a 1-0 victory for Manchester United over Young Boys.

The win, coupled with Valencia’s result in Turin, means the Red Devils have secured qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Mourinho celebrated by launching a water bottle carrier into the stands

However, the performance at Old Trafford was decidedly woeful and seriously lacking in real quality or excitement.

The front three of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial showed glimpses of raw brilliance and skill, but failed to find the killer pass required to carve open their Swiss opponents.

So how did the players fare individually on Tuesday night?

Scroll down to see talkSPORT.com’s player ratings.

David De Gea – 8

Made a truly spectacular save to keep the scores level. The Spaniard was a virtual spectator all game until that moment – producing a moment of magic when required.

Antonio Valencia – 6

Although he is undeniably solid at right-back, you feel as though United more than that. He lacks the tactical understanding of the position to truly utilise his pace and natural attacking instincts – although that is hardly his fault at this stage in his career.

Phil Jones – 7

Having seen his selection questioned by Man United fans on Twitter before the game, Jones delivered an extremely assured display. His reading of the game and physical style meant the opposition strikers had no chances to feed off of all game.

Chris Smalling – 6

Like his centre-half partner, Smalling’s selection was questioned. But proved to be solid when called upon – should have scored before Fellaini though.

Luke Shaw – 8

Perhaps the only positive besides De Gea, the left-back must be surely the second name on the teamsheet right now. Assured on the ball, confident going forward and bullish in defence, the former Southampton man showed plenty of the heart Mourinho suggested was missing before the game.

Fred – 6

Looked uncomfortable playing in such a rigid midfield system. Perhaps it was due to his colleagues in the trio, but the Brazilian must already be wondering why he didn’t choose the blue half of Manchester…

Marouane Fellaini – 4

Besides popping up with the late goal, Fellaini offered very little. Does not possess the intelligence or instinct to play incisive balls through the lines to break down stubborn defences. Great to lump it to when all else fails.

Nemanja Matic – 5

Like the aforementioned Fellaini, the Serb does not possess the attacking instinct required to trouble opposition midfielders. Defensively sound, but you have to wonder why the Portuguese picked him.

Jesse Lingard – 6

Besides a few fancy tricks and some full-blooded challenges, the England international looked a little lost. Seems to save his best performances for the Three Lions.

Marcus Rashford – 5

Just not his night through the middle. Shifted out wide to accommodate Lukaku but just tried too hard to make things happen.

Anthony Martial- 6

So much pace and trickery, the France international should be scoring and setting up goals for fun. As it is, the things he is trying just do not seem to be coming off.

(SUB) Paul Pogba – 7

Brought on as Young Boys dropped deep and was gifted the time and space to spray some glorious passes around. Took the game by the scruff of the neck

(SUB) Romelu Lukaku – 5

Like Martial, it seems as though the Belgium striker has everything in his locker to be clinical. However, the ball just will not fall in the right positions for him.

(SUB) Juan Mata – 5

Looked extremely frustrated on the night, a player of his quality will never enjoy playing against such a rigid defence with so little time to operate.

Manchester United 1-0 Young Boys: Jose Mourinho’s side secure Champions League qualification thanks to Marouane Fellaini’s late strike

27 Nov

Marouane Fellaini secured Champions League qualification for Manchester United after he popped up with a stoppage-time strike at the Stretford End to secure a 1-0 win over Young Boys.

The giant Belgium midfielder was deployed as a target man in the dying stages of the game after the Swiss opposition held their own at Old Trafford, largely frustrating the home fans.

Fellaini’s late strike won it at the death

Jose Mourinho’s men looked devoid of ides as they huffed and puffed, but could not find a precious strike.

David De Gea made a wonderful save with the game scoreless to deny the plucky visitors what would have been a famous goal. However, with the clock running down, the Premier League side began to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at the minnows.

Valencia’s result with Juventus in Turin means progress to the knockout stages is secured for United, but they surely have to perform far better than this to truly harbour any ambitions of progressing to the latter stages.

Fellaini wheels away in celebration

Mourinho had challenged his younger players before the game and looked decidedly angered by their performance on Tuesday night.

The United manager’s frustration had been growing throughout the match and his angry celebration said it all as he kicked one water bottle carrier and threw another into the floor.

Victory meant United head to Valencia next month with progress assured, but Tuesday’s performance raises more questions than answers given their tepid response to Saturday’s goalless draw with struggling Crystal Palace.

Mourinho called into question some of his players’ “heart” and desire after that match, so his decision to drop Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba to the bench raised eyebrows almost as much as his decision to omit Alexis Sanchez entirely.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho boots over a collection of water bottles.

He then bristled when quizzed about that selection before kick-off and pointed to onlookers “always asking” him to play Marcus Rashford – a player who missed a fine chance in the opening minutes and numerous more over the course of the night.

The United manager’s exasperation was clear and only increased as the match wore on, with Fellaini eventually securing a late win much to the relief of his manager and the Old Trafford faithful.

 

Manchester United fans are furious with Jose Mourinho after Paul Pogba is dropped for Champions League clash with Young Boys

27 Nov

Manchester United manger Jose Mourinho doesn’t make life easy for himself.

The Portuguese boss has once again irked the club’s supporters by dropping midfielder Paul Pogba for their Champions League clash with Young Boys.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba trains ahead of the Young Boys match.

Pogba, 26, played in the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace but must now sit out for at least some of the important tie, which could have huge ramifications.

If Valencia do not beat Juventus and United win at Old Trafford, qualification from a tricky Champions League group will be sealed.

But despite the game’s significance, Mourinho has decided to start with Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini in central midfield, which hasn’t gone down well.

See what Man United fans said on Twitter below.

Manchester United fans want to ‘throw up’ after seeing Phil Jones and Chris Smalling start crucial Champions League game

27 Nov

Manchester United’s starting line-up to face Young Boys in their crucial Champions League game on Tuesday night was met by confusion, derision and downright anger by some fans on Twitter.

Victory at Old Trafford for the Red Devils and Vaelncia failing to beat Juventus in Italy would ensure qualification from a tough group for the Premier League giants.

Jones and Smalling start for United, but some fans are not happy

However, despite winning the reverse fixture in Switzerland 3-0, Mourinho opted for a rather solid looking starting XI for the game at home.

While some fans were concerned with the rigid midfield options offered by Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic, it was the centre-back pairing of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones which seemed to trigger the majority of supporters on Twitter.

Once seen as the future of England’s defence, the defensive duo have thus far failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford – often finding themselves ridiculed by opposition fans for their error-prone ways.

However, it was their own supporters who took umbrage with their selection on Tuesday night – check out the best Tweets below!

Manchester United vs Young Boys: Champions League match preview, team news, confirmed teams, plus more

27 Nov

Manchester United will be hoping to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League on Tuesday night when they welcome Young Boys to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils need to win, and hope Valencia fail to beat Juventus in Group H’s other fixture, to secure their progression to the last-16 with a match to spare.

It’s been a tough season for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United

The reverse fixture in Switzerland saw United put in perhaps their best performance of the season, easing to a 3-0 win courtesy of Paul Pogba’s double and an Anthony Martial strike.

However, United head into Tuesday’s encounter on the back of a miserable 0-0 home draw with Crystal Palace, that keeps them 14 points off top spot in the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho’s side are still being heavily backed to defeat their Swiss opponents, but Young Boys will arrive at Old Trafford knowing that this United side are playing well below their full potential right now and are there for the taking.

What the managers are saying

Jose Mourinho (Man United): “It’s not a crucial match because if we don’t win tomorrow we still don’t depend on other results. We will still just depend on ourselves.

“But I want to play from the first minute like it’s the last chance we have to qualify. I want to play this game like a knockout game like we have to win.”

Gerardo Seoane (Young Boys): “I think Manchester United are strong at home and, for sure, also they want to show to their crowd that they are strong also at home. This stadium has a big tradition.”

Team news

Victor Lindelof misses out after suffering a muscle injury against Crystal Palace. He joins fellow defenders Marcos Rojo and Diogo Dalot on the sidelines.

The visitors will be without Sekou Sanogo due to suspension, while Pedro Teixeira, Jordan Lotomba, Gregory Wuthrich and Guillaume Hoarau face late fitness tests.

Lindelof was pictured limping after United’s draw with Palace

Confirmed line-ups

Man United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Shaw; Matic, Fellaini, Fred; Lingard, Rashford, Martial

SUBS: Romero, Bailly, Pogba, Mata, Lukaku, Andreas Pereira, McTominay

Young Boys: Ballmoos, Mbabu, Camara, von Bergen, Benito, Sulejmani, Sow, Lauper, Aebischer, Assale, Nsame

SUBS: Wolfli, Bertone, Ngamaleu, Fassnacht, Schick, Garcia, Seydoux.

Manchester United injury news: Victor Lindelof to miss Champions League clash with Young Boys after picking up ankle injury

26 Nov

Victor Lindelof will miss Manchester United’s Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Young Boys and the coming weeks through injury.

The 24-year-old has started the club’s last seven matches in all competitions but was visibly struggling towards the end of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

Lindelof will miss Tuesday night’s clash with Young Boys

Jose Mourinho has confirmed Lindelof has a ‘proper injury’ that requires a scan on Tuesday and will keep him out for some time.

Matteo Darmian made his first appearance since the opening day against the Eagles but he also missed Monday’s training session along with fellow defender Marcos Rojo.

Luke Shaw is available after serving a one-match domestic ban.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants his side to take the earliest opportunity to progress to the knockout phase with victory against Young Boys at Old Trafford.

If the Red Devils claim three points and Valencia fail to defeat Juventus in Turin, then United will seal their place in the last 16 with a game to spare – which is a trip to the Spanish outfit.

Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference: “I want my players to be proactive, not reactive. I want my players to be strong.

“It is not a crucial game, but I want to play like it is the last chance to qualify. I want to play like a knockout game.”

Young Boys 0-3 Manchester United: Paul Pogba the star as United get off to winning Champions League start in Switzerland

19 Sep

Captain Paul Pogba inspired Manchester United as Jose Mourinho’s men overcame Young Boys and a potentially problematic plastic pitch to get off to a winning start in the Champions League.

The World Cup winner was virtually unplayable, receiving a rapturous ovation from the travelling United fans as he left the synthetic surface in Switzerland.

Pogba shows incredible touch and finesse to open the scoring

With tough assignments against Valencia and Juventus to come, United knew just how important it would be to get three points in their Group H opener on the Stade de Suisse’s plastic pich.

The Red Devils were not at their best in Bern, but emerged victorious from this tricky encounter with Pogba following his classy opener with a superb spot-kick and assist for Anthony Martial in the 3-0 win.

It was a comprehensive, if not always convincing, start to their Champions League campaign – and all the more satisfying as Mourinho’s players appeared to avoid injury on the Swiss champions’ controversial surface.

More to follow…

 

Young Boys vs Manchester United: Champions League group stage match preview, confirmed teams, plus more

19 Sep

Manchester United begin their Champions League campaign on Wednesday evening with a trip to Swiss outfit Young Boys.

The Red Devils head into their opening Group H clash on the back of two successive wins which have removed doubts about Jose Mourinho’s position created in the wake of the club’s Premier League defeats to Brighton and Spurs.

Mourinho has got United back on track after a poor start to the season
Getty

However, they may find it hard going at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf against a Young Boys team that have started their domestic season flawlessly.

Gerardo Seoane’s side have won all six of their league games to date, scoring 19 goals and conceding just four to already sit eight points clear at the top of the Swiss Super League.

Still, Young Boys have little European experience – having not played in the European Cup since it was rebranded to the Champions League in 1992 – and United are expected to pick up all three points ahead of tougher group fixtures against Valencia and Juventus.

What the managers are saying

Gerardo Seoane (Young Boys): “We can’t change the pitch. It’s clear they are not used to pitches like this, so in the beginning I guess it will be a special feeling. But with training tonight (Tuesday) and the warm-up I think they will be all right. They have the quality, speed and technique to play on this pitch, so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

Jose Mourinho (Manchester United): “I can get as an example, we are in Switzerland, the home of one of the best-ever tennis players (Roger Federer), and I’m pretty sure that the big man sometimes is not happy to play on such a surface but he has to play and he has to win. Everybody knows that he has a favourite surface, but he has also to win on the surfaces that he is not in love with, so we have to do it.”

How can you listen?

Click here to listen to live commentary of Young Boys vs Manchester United on talkSPORT.

Team news

Antonio Valencia will be rested by Jose Mourinho, the Man United manager, due to concerns over Young Boys’ artificial pitch. Luke Shaw does start, however, after missing Saturday’s 2-1 defeat of Watford.

Shaw missed the Watford clash after suffering an injury representing England in the international break

Confirmed Line-ups

Young Boys: Von Ballmoos; Mbabu, Von Bergen, Camara, Benito; Fassnacht, Sanogo, Sow, Sulejmani; Assale, Hoarau

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, Fred, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial