05292017

Mourinho vows to rest Man Utd players at Arsenal

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I will rest players in Premier League – Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he will rest players for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Arsenal.

United’s 1-0 Europa League semi-final first-leg win at Celta Vigo on Thursday was their 10th game since 1 April.

With Mourinho’s side lying fifth in the Premier League, the Europa League could represent their best chance of reaching next season’s Champions League.

“The players that have accumulated lots of minutes are not going to play next weekend,” said Mourinho.

Marcus Rashford’s free-kick gave United victory in Spain, along with an away goal to take back to Old Trafford for next Thursday’s second leg.

If United reach the final in Stockholm on 24 May, it will be their 64th game of the season.

Their stretched squad received a boost in Spain, with defender Chris Smalling, who has been out since March with a knee injury, returning to the bench.

Defender Eric Bailly (ankle) and midfielder Paul Pogba (muscle strain) were also fit enough to start.

But substitute Ashley Young lasted only 11 minutes before having to be replaced with what looked like a hamstring injury.

Rashford also had to be substituted, but Mourinho said that was a result of a problem he carried into the game.

By that time, the 19-year-old had made the telling contribution, curling a free-kick inside the far post from the right of the Celta penalty area.

“He works every day,” said Mourinho of the England international. “He loves it. Sometimes he stays behind after training to practise free-kicks.

“It was a great free-kick. The ball was moving really fast. The goalkeeper made a little movement but it was impossible to save.”

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