Jose Mourinho was less-than impressed with Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal last weekend.
His side controlled the game and deservedly went ahead thanks to Juan Mata’s second half strike Olivier Giroud’s late header – Arsene Wenger’s side’s only effort on target all afternoon – salvaged a point for the Gunners.
United have now drawn three consecutive games at Old Trafford and should arguably have won all three. It undermined United’s challenge for the Premier League title. United in sixth, are nine points behind league leaders Chelsea.
At the very least, United will take solace from another encouraging performance. Also, no further players were lost to injury. The match saw the welcome return of Antonio Valencial. The right back was Man of the Match but hadn’t due back from a broken arm until early December.
Valencia took to Twitter to thank United’s medical staff for getting him back fit in double quick time:
“We regret not having obtained the 3 points. I also want to dedicate this award to the entire Manchester United Medical Corps.”
No New Injury Worries
It doesn’t appear that United have any new injury worries to add to their list, either.
Chris Smalling remains out with a broken toe although the conflicting reports offered by the media have left everyone in doubt as to his return. When the subject came up at his press conference last week, a visibly agitated Mourinho confirmed the England international won’t be back until December at the very earliest.
Eric Bailly remains sidelined with a knee injury sustained in the demoralising 4-0 defeat at Chelsea. The Ivorian should return at some point next month. United are wary of rushing their young defender back into the team. Ivory Coast are through to the Africa Cup of Nations finals; Bailly, if fit, will be there with the squad.
Marouane Fellaini was absent from Saturday’s squad having left Belgium’s training camp during the latest international break. The injury he sustained during United’s 3 – 1 win over Swansea City is less serious than first thought. Michael Carrick’s form, along with that of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba, mitigates the absence of the former Everton midfielder.