Jose Mourinho reacts to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s display for Man United v Anderlecht

Jose Mourinho praises Henrikh Mkhitaryan for his solid defensive display in Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Anderlecht

jose mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: Tag Heuer

Jose Mourinho praised Henrikh Mkhitaryan for his impressive defensive performance during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Anderlecht in the Europa League on Thursday night.

The Armenia international has been in good form for the Red Devils in recent weeks and scored his second goal in as many games as Manchester United netted a crucial away goal in the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

Manchester United were left frustrated on Thursday night, however, when Leander Dendoncker scored a late equaliser for the hosts with Anderlecht’s first shot on target.

Nevertheless, Mourinho was happy with Mkhitaryan’s all-round contribution during the European clash, although he was left less happy about Manchester United’s attacking players.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Mourinho said: “It was a strong performance from the team from a defensive point of view.

“[Jesse] Lingard, [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, [Marcus] Rashford – they did defensively what we asked them to do, to compact the team, to control direct opponents, to cover some spaces.

“We were very solid defensively and that is not just about the defenders, it’s about the team as a team.

“But then when the team is broken, because we go to counter attack, we cannot lose so many balls because it’s not just about the chances we missed because we didn’t miss so many chances, it’s about half-chances.”

Manchester United now turn their attentions towards their crunch Premier League showdown with Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

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The Red Devils head into the game in fifth place in the Premier League table as they look to break back into the top four before the season is out.

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