Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho made a host of changes to his starting line-up for Wednesday night’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth, even finding room for Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw.
The Portuguese coach freshened things up following Sunday’s dismal 1-0 home defeat against relegation-threatened West Brom - the result which guaranteed local rivals Manchester City the Premier League title - with one eye on this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley.
Despite making seven changes, Mourinho’s side secured a reasonably comfortable 2-0 victory to boost their chances of finishing second this season.
Chris Smalling, who scored the winning goal against City earlier this month, broke the deadlock midway through the first half.
Romelu Lukaku then came off the bench after the break to notch his 27th goal of the campaign.
United now find themselves four points above third-placed Liverpool with four matches left to play.
All the fans are concerned about right now is beating Spurs and reaching the FA Cup final.
United fans made the same point about Shaw
Following Wednesday night’s win over the Cherries, one or two players may have given Mourinho some food for thought. But is Luke Shaw, derided by his manager on several occasions in the past, one of them?
United supporters had plenty to say about the much-maligned 22-year-old’s performance - and many of them seemed to be making the same point.
Yep, there are a lot of United fans - certainly on social media, anyway - who would prefer to see Shaw in the starting line-up over Ashley Young.
Although Young has performed admirably at left-back, even forcing his way back into the England squad, the 32-year-old lacks the dynamism - certainly when attacking - that his younger teammate possesses.
Shaw still needs to convince Mourinho
But one of the reasons why Mourinho has often used Young ahead of Shaw is because he trusts the veteran winger.
Shaw is yet to truly convince his manager over his intelligence and decision-making qualities - and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the former Southampton starlet was moved on this summer.
Nevertheless, he still hopes to win over Mourinho and admitted after the Bournemouth game that he’s desperate to start this weekend’s crunch match in London.
“I think today was all about the three points, I don’t think it matters how we performed,” he told MUTV. “The mood over the past few days has been down because of the result on the weekend and we wanted to put things right today.
“When the manager makes changes like this, people are fighting for positions and it’s an opportunity for players to come in and showcase what they can do.
“I think everyone was so good tonight because the big game’s on this weekend and everyone wants to be in that starting eleven - including me.”
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