Derby, July 4(IANS): India won their second warm-up game beating Derbyshire by five-wickets at the…
AFP, Manchester, United Kingdom: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho rued the “poisoned gift” of his
side’s fixture schedule as he contemplated a potentially seismic run of matches in October.
United got their Europa League campaign off the ground with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday and host Group A leaders Fenerbahce in their next game on October 20.Prior to that, they face a Monday night match at arch rivals Liverpool, with a trip to Chelsea, in the Premier League, and a crunch game against Manchester City in the League Cup to follow.
“We could play Liverpool on the Saturday or the Sunday. We play Liverpool on the Monday,” said Mourinho, whose side are level on points in Group A with Feyenoord.
“So maybe we don’t have the best conditions, especially because we play against two top Premier League teams that don’t play in European competition (Liverpool and Chelsea).
“We have this kind of poisoned gift of playing on the Monday that creates a very difficult situation. But we want to try to qualify for the next round. We want to try.
“Long time to go, almost a month. But we want to try so we play against Fenerbache with a team with possibilities to beat Fenerbahce.”
United struggled to break down a well drilled Zorya team, who were playing their first game against English opposition after finishing fourth in the Ukrainian Premier League last season.
Mourinho conceded that United’s win had been “hard work” and while he praised Zorya’s defensive organisation, he bemoaned what he saw as their delaying tactics.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home a 69th-minute winner after substitute Wayne Rooney’s mishit volley, which struck his knee, hit the ground and looped towards the back post.“He was laughing and saying that he made a great assist,” Mourinho said of Rooney, who started on the bench for the second game running after overcoming a back problem.