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Sunday 11 December 2016

'That's why we bought him' - Man United boss Jose Mourinho lavishes praise on Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Tim Rich

Published 01/12/2016 | 08:11

Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United
Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United

Jose Mourinho claimed that Henrikh Mkhitarayan’s performance that took Manchester United to a League Cup semi-final had shown his true potential in English football.

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The United manager, banned from the touchline for the Old Trafford quarter final, would not reveal from where he watched his side’s 4-1 defeat of West Ham that earned a two-legged semi-final against Hull, but it is believed he studied it on television from his office.

However, Mourinho said Mkhitaryan’s performance that saw him provide two assists was far more significant than his display against Feyenoord last week. “I am so happy for him because this was against a Premier League team with Premier League qualities and Premier League characteristics.

“That showed clearly his evolution because against Feyenoord you could think that they represented a different profile of football than he would face in the Premier League but this was against a proper Premier League team and Micky performed this way so I am really happy.

“This was the reason we bought him, we were waiting for him to adapt and now it looks like it is coming.”

Mourinho said it was only the result that showed an improvement on a string of draws that has left Manchester United eight points adrift of a Champions League place. He stressed that United had deserved to win all the four successive league games they had drawn at Old Trafford.

“I am pleased with the goals because the performance is something we are used to,” he said.

“We are playing very, very well at home and this was more of the same. West Ham equalised with their first shot but in the second half the team once more had the confidence to play and win comfortably. They played beautiful attacking football which is something the fans like but we need results.”

After the match, Mourinho paid eloquent tribute to the manager of the Chapacoense team killed in the Colombian plane crash. “Caio Junior was someone I knew and someone who was very well known in Portugal. Today I feel his loss and the loss of his team.”

Independent News Service

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