Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho highlighted the performances of Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford during his side’s 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace on Monday night.
United struggled to find the cutting edge to their play over the course of the first period, and Mourinho opted for changes, starting with Marcus Rashford, who came in for Scott McTominay after the break.
With less than half an hour left on the clock, Mourinho decided to drop both full-backs in Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young to bring in Juan Mata and Luke Shaw, and the former was one of the sparkling lights.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho hailed the showing of both Rashford and Mata, who made a significant difference with their respective movements on the field, he said:
“The players kept an amazing attitude. Juan Mata was finding spaces inside, Marcus Rashford was open on the left and brought their right-back wide to give us more space in the middle.
“You always need that little bit of luck to win a match in the last few minutes. Sometimes the winner is the one who deserves the congratulations but I think Roy Hodgson did everything right.”
Obviously United had a bit of luck, especially with Romelu Lukaku’s equaliser, which came after a ricochet off the post, but the result is no doubt a huge boost ahead of a key Premier League game versus arch-rivals Liverpool on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have flourished with the influence of their attacking trident of Salah, Mane and Firmino, but United have the advantage of being a home game, whilst they have the incentive of finishing in the runner-up position, which should be the least expectation with Manchester City running away with the title.