Jose Mourinho explains how Wayne Rooney was feeling after being dropped

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Football News

Manchester United responded to their early season critics in perfect fashion by beating Claudio Ranieri's side 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Chris Smalling's goal after 22 minutes directed the spotlight away from Jose Mourinho's decision not to start Wayne Rooney and back on the XI who were on the pitch.

The Red Devils' captain did come on late in the second half but by then the damage had already been done as Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba all found the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes.

While Rooney's omission was not the sole reason for the victory over the defending champions, there can be little doubt players such as Mata, Pogba and Ander Herrera looked significantly better without the Englishman taking up their space in midfield.

As you would expect, almost as soon at the final whistle was blown, the attention returned to Rooney and Mourinho was asked how his captain was feeling after the game.

"Wayne Rooney is a big player for me, United and this country. He is my man, I trust him completely. He is happy," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

The Portuguese boss was understandably pleased with the result and hailed his players' reaction to a tricky period.

He added: "It was a very good performance and result. It is not easy against them and not easy to win in the style that we did.

"In the second half it was more about control - we wanted a little bit more - but Ranieri was very good to read his options and keep some balance. It was a choice of losing heavily or with some control over the scoreline.

"Today we had intensity movement and dynamism. To be back home and beat the champions is good. Last season we couldn't beat them and this season we have beaten them twice already."

There is every chance Mourinho could recall the 30-year-old for United's Europa League clash with Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday.

However, given how impressive they were without him, both Mourinho and Rooney may have to reluctantly accept that Man United's best team no longer includes the club captain.

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Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Premier League
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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