Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said that his side should have scored five goals in their first half against Basel last night. Basle ultimately won 1-0, and United faded without Paul Pogba, but at least United created plenty of chances from which to lose, rather than the traditional no chances and no inspiration. United can be confident of qualifying top of the group with the results as they stand, so expect another second string eleven in the final group stage, too.
Mourinho has excused Daley Blind despite Basel(I’m spelling it both ways)’s goal coming at his expense. Blind tries, does what he’s told, and hasn’t ballooned to 300 stone, so he gets protected by his manager in a way that Luke Shaw wouldn’t had he mde the same error. It nevertheless highlights that United’s defence remains stocked with clowns.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to get some minutes under his belt as he recovers from a serious knee injury, and in the process set a record. He is the first player to feature in the Champions League for seven different clubs. If he also starts scoring for United in the Champions League again, that would be more than acceptable. Expect him to feature against Brighton at the weekend, too, as United are less cowardly when he is on the pitch.
Roy Keane is not overly worried by the loss for United last night, thinking they can still go on to challenge. Given the state of the group stages so far, it’s not the worst observation out of context, but there are some seriously strong teams in second place in the group at the moment, which might make for some squeaky and soiled bum time.
And to make yourself feel less awful, console yourself with the table for United’s group in the Champions League here.