Manchester United came away from the 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea much worse than expected.
Apart from losing defender Eric Bailly to a major injury, it is also learnt that Chris Smalling has also suffered an injury that will keep him out for a couple of games. As a result, Mourinho had no other option but to utilise the centre back pairing of Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo. The latter has not had much of a look in under José Mourinho this season. However, the Argentine performed with grace and managed to help United keep their first clean sheet in three games.
After the game, Mourinho praised the performance of the Argentine centre back and said that he was rather surprised with the outcome. Mourinho knows that playing two left-footed centre backs in the defence is not always ideal especially when it comes to playing against top teams like Manchester City. Since Pep Guardiola recalled Sergio Aguero to the starting line-up, Mourinho was very of conceding a heavy defeat once again.
Yet, United performed admirably and managed to win the EFL Cup match 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Juan Mata. It remains to be seen if Rojo has convinced the manager sufficiently enough to be part of the starting line-up in the league games.
“We are used to playing with Bailly and Smalling but we have lost both to injury. We had to play with two left-footed central defenders and Marcos had not played for a while, but he played phenomenally. We were getting confident step by step, we were starting to trust our defensive organisation. Then in the second half, especially Herrera, Carrick and Pogba, they increased the tempo. They started pressing higher. I thought Ander brought the team to different levels of intensity and pressing,” said Mourinho.