18 July 2017

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admits he let Antonio Valencia get sent off for tough tackle on Real Salt Lake’s Sebastian Saucedo

JOSE MOURINHO has admitted he let Antonio Valencia get sent-off rather than substitute him.

Valencia was red carded against Real Salt Lake City in the early hours of this morning after a challenge from behind on Sebastian Saucedo that lead to the player leaving the stadium on crutches.

Sebastian Saucedo was clattered by Antonio Valencia in the second-half
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Jose Mourinho refused to substitute Antonio Valencia after the incident
AP:Associated Press

Referee Allen Chapman approached Manchester United Mourinho boss while Saucedo was being tended to midway through the second half and told him to sub Valencia or he would send him off.

But Mourinho said: “The referee asked me to change the player and I didn’t because I don’t agree with the card because Saucedo, I think is the name of the boy was really aggressive in second half.

That’s what happens.

“Some other actions were a bit dangerous.

“It’s young people with enthusiasm playing against Manchester United but it’s a friendly match and it’s a different mentality. But it’s preseason so no problem.

“It is good experience or us to play with one player less.”

Juan Mata was left injured by Sebastian Saucedo, who was then injured himself
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Saucedo had earlier fouled Juan Mata who had to limp off and he will not play now against Manchester City in Houston on Thursday having twisted his ankle in the challenge.

Mourinho said: “Mata has a big ankle but I hope it is nothing important. A few days, a week probably.”

Romelu Lukaku opened his United account with the winning goal as United ran out 2-1 winners.

Mourinho said: I think it’s just nice for him, not important for me. Before he scored the goal I told him ‘I love everything you do on the pitch’. ‘Don’t be worried about scoring or not scoring’.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Silva scores against Manchester United goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira
AP:Associated Press
Romelu Lukaku drills home after rounding the keeper
Romelu Lukaku drills home after rounding the keeper

“He gets behind people, works and presses well. I like everything he does.

“It’s easy to feel it because he was my player four years ago his evolution has been great. He’s now a top striker.

“The goal is just a detail, not important.”

The City game, which kicks-off on Thursday night in Houston, 3am on Friday English time, will see United have to go up a level with games against Real Madrid and Barcelona to come after that.

Lukaku took his goal well and was understandably delighted
Lukaku took his goal well and was understandably delighted

Mourinho said: “The level of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona is higher – Champions League level. It’s a new competition for us. It is good for us.

“Maybe the other teams have the same philosophy as us, maybe not. I know Manchester City is our City rival, Real Madrid European champion but it’s not so important for us to play for a result.”

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