zlatan ibrahimovic manchester united

Mourinho explains Zlatan substitution

Jose Mourinho has explained his decision to remove Zlatan Ibrahimovic at half time with Manchester United 2-0 down against Burnley.

United fell behind against the Clarets through Ashley Barnes’ opener, before Steven Defour’s fabulous free kick made it 2-0 after 36 minutes.

Jose Mourinho took the drastic decision the replace Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the matches hero, Jesse Lingard. Speaking about the decision to replace Zlatan, Mourinho said:

“Yeah it was tactical.

“We changed to only one central defender as we know that Burnley don’t have normally the ball as they just play direct so we played one against one with Phil Jones.

“It is a risk and Jones accepted that and Nemanja Matic was there just to bring the ball from a totally free position, bringing lots of balls.”

“Then, instead of more positional players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, I decided to go with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata with all three trying to play in these areas behind Lukaku.

“You can say we had some success and I still think there were so many balls in such important areas with lots of crosses, good and low crosses, but we didn’t attack all these balls well.

“Also, normally, we were not lucky with rebounds so I’m happy with the effort, happy with the personality and happy with the feeling that we didn’t lose but, of course, we lost two points.”

Ibrahimovic, who has recently returned from a serious knee injury, hardly made an impact during the Boxing Day clash.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

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