We made the best of Rostov conditions – Manchester United boss Mourinho


Jose Mourinho says Manchester United made the best of difficult conditions by claiming a 1-1 draw from their Europa League last-16 first-leg clash in Rostov on Thursday.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave United the lead 10 minutes before the break on his return from injury, but Aleksandr Bukharov equalised for Rostov early in the second period.

United struggled to hit their stride on Rostov’s sub-standard pitch and Mourinho said his side could not have played better considering the state of the Russian surface.

“It was a very good performance in relation to the conditions,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “It was impossible to have the ball and play a passing game. We played what the game demanded and we played well.

“We made one defensive mistake and we can’t concede that goal with the movement behind the defenders but we coped with the intensity of their direct game and the result is what we could expect. It is open for the second leg with a little advantage for us.

United experimented with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo as a back three ahead of an FA Cup quarter-final at Premier League leaders Chelsea on Monday and Mourinho was pleased with how his side adapted to the new system.