Wednesday 21 March 2018

Jose Mourinho claims 'my man' Wayne Rooney is big part of his plans at Manchester United

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney warms up before the match
Reuters / Darren Staples
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney warms up before the match Reuters / Darren Staples Newsdesk Newsdesk

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists Wayne Rooney remains a big part of his plans and praised the way his side dominated Leicester in their 4-1 win at Old Trafford.

Goals from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba's first for the club gave the hosts a 4-0 half-time lead before Demarai Gray scored spectacular consolation for the reigning Premier League champions.

Speaking about Rooney, who was dropped to the bench, Mourinho told Sky Sports: "He's a big player for me, a big player for United, a big player for this country.

"He's my man, I trust him completely. He's as happy as I am at this moment and that's the team.

"It was a very good performance. It's obviously a very good result, it's not easy to win against them and even more difficult to win in such a comfortable way.

"I think the team played very well, you score four goals, and the striker doesn't score a goal and I think the striker plays phenomenal.

"(Zlatan Ibrahimovic) Ibra played absolutely incredible in the way he started our pressure. My team as a team played very well."

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri was mystified as to how his side were on the end of such a heavy defeat after a promising start at Old Trafford.

He told Sky Sports: "It's unbelievable what happened because we started very well and for the first 20 minutes it was our match.

"We put pressure on, we pressed very well, we tried to create chances but suddenly we switched off.

"We are very solid on corners and free-kicks. It's difficult to score against us, but today it was very strange for us.

"It's not possible to concede three goals off corners, that means you are not concentrating."

Ranieri also gave his reasons for substituting Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez at half-time, saying: "At that time, the match was gone. I preferred to reserve them for the next game against Porto on Tuesday."

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