Jose Mourinho levied special praise for Marouane Fellaini following Manchester United 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday evening. The Red Devils managed to contain the Blues’ attack for the most part of the game – barring the match-defining moment where Alvaro Morata headed in the winning goal past David de Gea.
Speaking after the loss, Mourinho hailed the performance of Fellaini, although he lost possession on a number of occasions – coming on a second-half substitute, he told Sky Sports: “Fellaini made an unbelievable effort. He trained for the first time yesterday. Important for me to give him a public word.”
Mourinho: “Fellaini made an unbelievable effort. He trained for the first time yesterday. Important for me to give him a public word.” #mufc
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) November 5, 2017
The 29-year-old came on just after the half-hour mark and made more of an impact than Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who had another dismal performance in the United shirt.
Fellaini could not quite find the breakthrough for United on the day, but his availability is a huge boost for United, who have been running on limited resources in the midfield.
Ander Herrera has fared decently alongside Nemanja Matic in the centre of the park, and the international break may have come at the right time with Paul Pogba also close to making a comeback.
Pogba, 24, sustained a hamstring problem in mid-September, and his absence has definitely left a huge void in recent matches where United have struggled to find a typical box-to-box midfielder.