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Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Jose Mourinho explains why he hasn't been playing Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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Not one Manchester United player can come away from tonight's 2-1 defeat against Fenerbahce with their head held high.

In fact, only Wayne Rooney can be remotely pleased with his performance, the 30-year-old scoring a 30-yard screamer in the 89th minute.

Paul Pogba was poor up until his 30th-minute exit; Zlatan Ibrahimovic was nothing short of useless upfront; while United's back four made a number of costly mistakes.

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Jose Mourinho was understandably furious in the aftermath, slamming his players for not being mentally prepared and lacking concentration.

"[Fenerbahce] deserved to win," he said, per Goal. "Football is not just about quality, it's about effort, commitment, playing the limits, giving everything. They deserved it.

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"A team that concedes a goal after two minutes is a team that's not ready - a team that's not mentally prepared, not focused, not concentrating."

One player particularly riled Mourinho, though: Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Armenia international - who hadn't played for United since September's 2-1 defeat to Manchester City - replaced Marcus Rashford in the 61st minute but made very little impact.

And you better believe Mourinho noticed, with the Portuguese manager using Mkhitaryan's performance to explain why he hasn't been playing recently.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

"He has to do more, it's as simple as that," Mourinho said, per MUTV.

"We have big expectations in the club. [There are] lots of players for these positions and he has to play better than [Juan] Mata, [Jesse] Lingard, [Anthony] Martial."

Mourinho's comments are somewhat harsh given Mkhitaryan hasn't played in almost one-and-a-half months, let alone the fact he's been training alone recently to impress.

Furthermore, had Mourinho involved Mkhitaryan in recent games against City and Burnley, he would have been better prepared for a game of such high magnitude.

Mourinho pointed towards Fenerbahce's opening goal as the turning point and claimed his players' attitude was all wrong.

Fenerbahce SK v Manchester United FC - UEFA Europa League

The Portuguese added: "In an atmosphere like this, to concede a goal and give the advantage to an opponent, then the opponent are where they want to be.

"Then they can defend, they can counter attack, they stop the game, they simulate free-kicks, they put pressure on the referee, they waste time with injuries.

"It's their game and it's our fault we let them be in that situation. After their second goal we showed reaction. Probably we could have taken a different result but we didn't deserve more.

"Our problems started in our attitude, where they were playing the Champions League final and we were playing a summer friendly - that is the reality of the way the game started."

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Premier League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Jose Mourinho

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