nsucurrent.com March 20, 2018

'Ajax should not be here' - Mourinho stokes fire before final

22 May 2017, 03:13 | Nina Perez

Angel Gomes thrilled to make his Manchester United debut at 16

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho takes Europa League swipe at Ajax

With United due to face Ajax in the Europa League final on Wednesday, Mourinho made no attempt to hide his desire to keep his key players fresh for the Stockholm showpiece. Asked if he had submitted a request for the game to be moved, Mourinho replied: "I don't waste time".

"When I just started with the first team everything went well, then I had a period where it was a bit more hard for me", he recalls.

When then asked if he knew his team for the clash in Stockholm, Mourinho replied: 'I know, but let me go.

He also appeared for his post-match media conference during the players' lap of honour when most journalists were still outside, promptly walking out when he did not receive any questions.

Defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones and midfielders Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are the only other first teamers who will start the match with Michael Carrick, Anthony Martial and Daley Blind all on the bench.

For some time now, Jose Mourinho has targeted the Europa League final, which is now a huge game for his players, Manchester United and even their sponsors Adidas.

On an afternoon that some suggested could be his final competitive United appearance at Old Trafford, the 31-year-old received a standing ovation as he was replaced by 16-year-old Angel Gomes - the first Premier League player to have been born in the 21st century.

Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey 6, Joel Ward 5, Martin Kelly 5, James Tomkins 5, Patrick van Aanholt 6, James McArthur 5, Luka Milivojevic 6, Wilfried Zaha 6, Jason Puncheon 5, Jeffrey Schlupp 5, Christian Benteke 6.

Jose Mourinho handed full debuts to Joel Pereira, Danny Mitchell, Scott McTominay and Josh Harrop.

"We finish this season with a loss", the Eagles boss said.

Play was now slow and stretched at Old Trafford, which witnessed history in the 88th minute as Rooney was withdrawn and replaced by debutant Gomes.

United were content to play out the 45 minutes with a defensive-minded approach to maintain the lead and limit any risk to players who could play a role against Ajax, and Palace failed to generate any consistent attacking pressure as a result.

"Paul Pogba is fine".

And in his programme notes ahead of Crystal Palace's visit to Old Trafford, Mourinho - who is set to again rest his key players - has taken aim at pundits who disagree with his assessment.

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