Late Fellaini victor sends Man United into knockout stages

Late Fellaini victor sends Man United into knockout stages

"Relief", said Mourinho of his celebration.

Never one of my teams stayed in the group phase.

"This is the type of game where if you score in the first minute normally you go for a different kind of performance, but it is still very hard for us to score", responded Mourinho when asked about his exasperated reaction when Rashford missed.

That meant familiar failings in front of goal were able to be brushed aside by Mourinho, who instead focused on the bigger picture in a tournament he has previously won with both Porto and Inter.

"I think if they play against a half-decent team there they get beat tonight".

"I know that his agent is happy to do what the player wants and I also know that the board wants him to stay and they're working on that, so hopefully sooner or later they arrive into good conclusions".

The pair came on in the second half but United still needed Fellaini to pop up with a late victor.

Frustrated by what they have seen this season, United fans appeared resigned to a third straight Champions League home game without a goal.

"Let me send a message to my lovers and let me say that I've played Champions League for 14 years and I've qualified 14 times", the Portuguese told his post-match press conference. "And the year where I didn't play Champions League I won the Europa League twice".

Phil Jones is preferred ahead of Eric Bailly as the England worldwide replaces the injured Victor Lindelof alongside Chris Smalling at the back and Nemanja Matic keeps his place in midfield.

Mourinho had threatened to make changes to the team that drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace and followed through, with Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku benched and Alexis Sanchez left out of the squad.

"What he said the other day, that was more a generational thing". Tepid, because the outgoing players scarcely deserved more and there wasn't enough faith that the incoming players could make much of a difference, despite costing £164 million (Dh768m) between them. Still, it was a goal and a win, something United hadn't managed at home in Europe this season.

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