Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester United duo Mkhitaryan and Carrick set to miss EFL Cup final

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 22 Feb 2017

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho expects to be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick for Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton after the duo suffered injuries in the 1-0 Europa League win at Saint-Etienne.

Mkhitaryan opened the scoring after 16 minutes against their Ligue 1 opponents, opening up a 4-0 aggregate advantage in the last-32 tie that was never in danger.

But the former Borussia Dortmund star departed within 10 minutes of his goal with a hamstring problem, while Carrick went off shortly after the hour due to a calf complaint.

Mourinho told BT Sport he had no regrets over picking a strong side at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard despite the setbacks, but he is not hopeful over Mkhitaryan and Carrick’s prospects.

“You can be injured leaving your house, you can be injured in the garden. You never know when and why,” he said, rejecting the suggestion he took undue risks.

“It is an accumulation of matches and you always have the risk of it. Obviously they are both important players for us and not to have them for the final is complicated.

“But I think Marouane [Fellaini] and Bastian [Schweinsteiger], two players who are not playing so much, gave a good answer [during the second half].

“I don’t say they are definitely out, I just say what I feel. With three days, a hamstring or a calf, even if it is a minor injury, I think three days is not [enough] time.”

United played the final half hour of Wednesday’s match with 10 men after Eric Bailly collected two yellow cards in the space of three minutes.

Both were for fouls on Romain Hamouma and Mourinho accused the Saint-Etienne attacker of going to ground too easily in an attempt to get his defender dismissed.

He added: “I think it was harsh but that boy [Hamouma] has good qualities and, with the good player he is, he enjoyed too much the diving and the simulation. He gets in these situations too much.”

 

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