Mourinho Backs Pogba to Shine Despite Father's Death

Josh Harrop scored on his debut as the youngest Manchester United side in the club's Premier League history defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 at Old Trafford.

Manchester United were prepared to extend Mourinho's contract and improve his financial terms at Old Trafford earlier on in the season.

Palace upped the tempo in the second half with Christian Benteke's header striking the post, while Joel Pereira distinguished his first United start with a fine save from Luka Milivojevic's free-kick. "I am in a final now".

"I have seen in the football media that certain pundits can not understand why our players are exhausted", wrote Mourinho.

Pogba and Jesse Lingard were both substituted before half-time as Mourinho took no chances ahead of an Ajax match that could give them a second major trophy of the season and seal a place in next season's Champions League.

Europe's secondary club competition is a surprising absentee in United's gleaming trophy cabinet and Jose Mourinho has placed it at the top of his priority list at the expense of a top-four Premier League finish. With the Europa League final against Ajax in mind, Mourinho gave unlikely starts to the likes of Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Demetri Mitchell, goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira and the aforementioned Harrop.


Harrop was teed up by Paul Pogba but had lots of work to do after 15 minutes at Old Trafford, cutting inside Palace defender Martin Kelly to create an opening for himself.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out for an estimated nine months after damaging knee ligaments at the team's Europa League quarter-final match against Anderlecht but Mourinho said the Swede would be in Stockholm for the final with the rest of the squad, on crutches or not.

He came under heavy criticism for resting players during key premier league fixtures, Graeme Souness amongst those who have questioned his decision making and suggested that players shouldn't be exhausted.

"I've dreamed about it so many times so, for it to come true, I'm delighted", Harrop told MUTV.

Expectations on Paul Pogba were also very high and the Frenchman has had ups and downs as well this season.

Background: Gomes, who has skippered England at under-16 and under-17 level, went into this game having just become the youngest-ever recipient of United's youth team player of the year award.


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