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'My players fought hard', says Mourinho as United win in Europa League

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 01:41

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says his team ''fought hard'' as they edge past Rostov 2-1 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League

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SHOWS: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UK (MARCH 16, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER JOSE MOURINHO SAYING: "I think Rostov is a very difficult team to play against, because they defend with a block of ten players. It was difficult for everyone, only Bayern at home scored early and had an easy job, but Atletico Madrid, Bayern at home, Anderlecht, Ajax, Sparta Prague, Man United, everyone was difficult to play against them. They are very well organised, big discipline and they defend with eleven players and then they can be dangerous in counter-attack, so it's very difficult. It's a very difficult team to play, to play against and today our plan was to kill the game when we had energy for that. We played in the first half like we were the team that needs to score. We tried to kill in the first half - we hit the post, the goalkeeper saved, we missed chances, so they let the game go open, and then, when we were dead, they were trying but my players, they fought hard to keep the result and go through." STORY: Manchester United edged past Rostov 1-0 to progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate victory at Old Trafford on Thursday (March 16). In a first half dominated by United, Jose Mourinho's team were unable to find a way through, although Zlatan Ibrahimovic twice hit the post in the fifth and 35th minutes. Two minutes into the second half, United suffered a blow when midfielder Paul Pogba had to limp off injured after he pulled up wincing with pain when chasing the ball. With just 19 minutes remaining, Juan Mata won the ball in midfield and was on hand seconds later to fire Ibrahimovic's flick into the net for the only goal of the game. Manager Mourinho was then seen passing a banana to defender Marcos Rojo as United looked to make the tie safe, but United had to rely upon goalkeeper Sergio Romero to brilliantly keep out Christian Noboa's free-kick in the last seconds of injury-time to seal the win.

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'My players fought hard', says Mourinho as United win in Europa League

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 01:41