Paul Ince criticises ‘naive’ Man United ahead of Celta Vigo clash

The Manchester United legend questions Jose Mourinho's decision to prioritise the Europa League

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Photo: Screen grab

Paul Ince has criticised Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho for prioritising the Europa League ahead of a top-four finish.

The Red Devils fielded a weakened side at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday as Arsenal eased to a 2-0 victory over their bitter rivals in the Premier League.

Manchester United are in fifth place in the Premier League table but five points adrift of third-placed Liverpool in the hunt for a Champions League spot.

Mourinho’s men were 1-0 winners against La Liga side Celta Vigo in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final last week.

Manchester United will host their semi-final opponents in the return leg at Old Trafford on Thursday night with a place in the final up for grabs.

Speaking to Paddy Power’s blog about Mourinho’s decision to prioritise the Europa League ahead of the Premier League, Ince said:

“If United had beat Arsenal, they’d be on 68 points with a game in hand and in a really advantageous position to make the top four.

“Champions League would’ve been in touching distance. I can see they’re clearly going for the Europa League as the main target, but I think that’s naïve.

“If they’d put out a slightly stronger team last week, they’d be touching top four. Just imagine if they hadn’t let so many silly points drop earlier in the season.

“It’s a massive risk, but if Mourinho takes United to the final and they win, people will say he did the right thing.”

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Manchester United finished in fifth place in the Premier League table with three games to go in their season.

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