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Mourinho explains Ibra sub in Burnley draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Dec 2017

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Jose Mourinho explained the reasons for his double substitution against Burnley, which curtailed Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first Premier League start of the season at half-time.

Manchester United found themselves 2-0 down to Sean Dyche’s side at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Ashley Barnes’ close-range finish and Steven Defour’s stunning free-kick putting the Clarets in control at the break.

Ibrahimovic, making his first league start since April, was replaced at the interval along with Marcos Rojo as Mourinho sent on Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The changes paid off as Lingard struck twice – his second goal arriving in stoppage time – to rescue a point for United and Mourinho revealed his thinking behind hauling off Ibrahimovic and replacing him with a more mobile forward.

“[It] was tactical, play only with one central defender. We know that they don’t normally have the ball, they just play direct,” he said.

“So really in the line-up, play one against one, [Phil] Jones was a risk Jones accepted, [Nemanja] Matic was there just to bring the ball from totally free positions, so he was bringing lots of balls into midfield.

“And then instead of more positional players like Zlatan and [Romelu] Lukaku, we decided to go with Mkhitaryan, Lingard and [Juan] Mata all three trying to play in these areas behind Lukaku and we can say we had some success.

“I still think with so many balls in important areas, lots of crosses, good crosses, low crosses, we didn’t attack all these balls well, and also not lucky with the rebounds, so I’m happy with the effort, the personality, the feeling of we didn’t lose but of course we lost two points.”

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