After a gutting defeat to Champions League winners Real Madrid on Tuesday night, manager Jose Mourinho reacted by expressing pride in his players. The former Madrid boss also aimed a sly dig at the referees in his post-match comments, which are quoted by the club website, as he said:
“I think we did well. We lost 2-1 which, I think, shows the result was really short, and one of the goals was offside so with a good VAR it would be 1-1 and extra time… We were playing against a team of fantastic players and we discussed the result until almost the end, not the end but almost the end… But we gave them a fight, we gave them a good fight and my boys only have reasons to leave – okay, disappointed because to lose is disappointing – but to leave optimistic and proud. Let’s go for it on Sunday.”
Romelu Lukaku’s second half debut goal was nothing more than a consolation for the Red Devils who were watching on in Macedonia as a controversial striker from Casemiro and another goal from Isco effectively decided the tie before the hour mark.
Perhaps as a result of that defeat, the Manchester Evening News believe that the club are still looking to make at least one more signing this summer. They insist that a move for Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic is not dead yet, with Mourinho also considering bringing in a defender.
Manchester United are set to be without cover at full-back, with three options at left-back out injured in Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young. That could encourage the boss to scout the market for available options to provide at least a short term replacement in the position.
Another player who may join the squad after the season kicks off is striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Guardian believe that the Swede is now well into his rehabilitation from a serious knee ligament injury sustained against Anderlecht in the Europa League and has his sights set on earning a new contract at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic enjoyed a fine debut season, scoring 26 goals, but at 35-years-old and on big wages, is yet to agree a new deal. Given his close relationship with Jose Mourinho, the squad and the club’s fans, it would not be a shock to see him return to once again play in Manchester United colours.