Jose Mourinho explains Wayne Rooney decision for Man United v Arsenal

Jose Mourinho explains why he started Wayne Rooney on the bench for Manchester United's clash with Arsenal

Jose Mourinho has revealed the reasons behind why he did not play Wayne Rooney from the start in Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal on Saturday.

The England striker ended up being a second-half substitute against the Gunners as Mourinho’s men were frustratingly pegged back by the north London side.

Rooney had been in the headlines in the build-up to Saturday’s showdown at Old Trafford but Mourinho insists that he decision to start him from the bench was purely tactical.

Speaking in an interview with United’s website, Mourinho said: “I thought we were going to have the ball. Arsenal are a team who let the opponents play.

“I thought we would have space and the ball would arrive quite easily to the attacking players. I believed ones like Mata, Martial and Rashford were faster than Wayne, better attacking opponents one-to-one in the last line. I thought it was the best option.”

Rooney will be hoping to be involved when Manchester United return to Europa League action on Thursday night with a home clash against Dutch side Feyenoord at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are currently sixth in the Premier League table and nine points behind new leaders Chelsea after 12 games of the new season.

MORE: The latest Man United news and views

MORE: The latest Man United player tweets

United finished fifth and won the FA Cup last season.

Alan Shearer (Photo: BBC Sport / Screengrab)
Alan Shearer reacts to Chelsea FC’s 1-0 win over Man City in FA Cup semi-final
BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)
Joe Cole tips Mason Mount to become a Chelsea FC legend
Timo Werner
Ashley Cole raves about Timo Werner after Chelsea FC’s 1-0 win over Man City
Owen Hargreaves
Owen Hargreaves urges Man United to make this ‘amazing’ signing
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Arsenal v Fulham
Alan Shearer (Photo: BBC Sport / Screengrab)
Alan Shearer reacts to Chelsea FC’s 1-0 win over Man City in FA Cup semi-final
BT Sport pundit Joe Cole (Photo: BT Sport)
Joe Cole tips Mason Mount to become a Chelsea FC legend
Timo Werner
Ashley Cole raves about Timo Werner after Chelsea FC’s 1-0 win over Man City
Owen Hargreaves
Owen Hargreaves urges Man United to make this ‘amazing’ signing
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Arsenal v Fulham
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature