Jose Mourinho explains why he replaced Marcus Rashford with Wayne Rooney

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Football News

Jose Mourinho opted for 18-year-old Marcus Rashford ahead of Wayne Rooney for Manchester United’s clash against Liverpool at Anfield on Monday.

Rashford was employed on the right wing and performed a very important job both going forward and defensively.

He also provided the Red Devils with a threat on the counter-attack with his pace - although Jose Mourinho’s side were never able to really utilise that.

However, with just more than 10 minutes remaining Mourinho substituted Rashford for captain Wayne Rooney. It meant that United no longer had the opportunity to counter-attack with the lack of pace going forward.

So, why did Mourinho decide to bring Rashford off?

Well, the Special One has explained his decision - admitting that he wanted to move him centrally before he pulled up with cramp.

"I think we missed a little bit of sharpness through the middle,” he admitted.

"I was expecting more penetration and I was thinking about playing Rashford in the position behind Zlatan but he had cramp and I made a change. At that moment I thought it would be difficult to win now, so let’s not lose it."

It speaks volumes that Mourinho was considering moving Rashford down the middle, ultimately replacing the world’s most expensive player in Paul Pogba who produced a disappointing performance.

With Rooney struggling to make the starting XI at the moment, it seems Rashford is the main beneficial with him getting an extended run in the side.

While many feared for his future after Mourinho brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer, Rashford has already made 10 appearances for the Old Trafford club this season and is becoming a very important player for his side.

Important few weeks

United’s draw leaves them in seventh in the Premier League as they trail city rivals Manchester City and Arsenal by five points.

But United have a ‘make or break’ couple of weeks as they attempt to challenge for honours in three different competitions. They host Fenerbahce in the Europa League before they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Sunday. They then play Manchester City at Old Trafford in the League Cup.

Premier League matches against Burnley (H) and Swansea (A) sandwich the return fixture against Fenerbahce. They then will Arsenal at the Theatre of Dreams on November 19, following the international break.

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Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
Rio Ferdinand
Premier League
Marcus Rashford
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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