Feb 23 2017
Manchester United progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League with a win over Saint-Etienne on Wednesday night. However, it came at a crushing cost.
The Red Devils will miss two key players in the EFL Cup final, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick not playing any part after picking up hamstring and calf injuries respectively.
Both the players limped out of last night’s game, and Jose Mourinho said that the duo have “no chance” of being fit for Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton at Wembley.
Mkhitaryan has been in great form recently and losing him for the big match is a huge blow for United.
After a stuttering start to the season, United have recovered well and are on the verge of winning their first trophy this season. Mourinho has taken his team on a run of just one defeat in 25 matches.
The former Chelsea manager took a swipe at the FA and hinted that his chances of winning silverware are being hindered by the organisation.
United’s FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge had been moved to Monday, March 13, which falls three days before United’s second leg of the club’s round-of-16 tie. Mourinho is surprised that the decision was made before their draw in Europe.
Mourinho said, as quoted by The Times:
Imagine we play Chelsea on Monday and go to the second match in Europe in Russia, Turkey or Greece? I think once more the interests are going [against] English football’s interests, and nobody cares about it.
The rescheduling of the FA Cup also presents United fans with travel problems. The match kicks off at 7.45pm, and if it goes to extra time and penalties, away fans who are relying on public transport would find it difficult to get back home.