Jose Mourinho has ruled Nemanja Matic out of his side’s final game of the Champions League group stages against CSKA Moscow.
The Serbian has been struggling with a niggling injury of late, and was in fact so close to being left out of United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday.
Instead, he started the game from the off, and put in a magnificent shift in the middle of the park, helping his defence to keep out wave after wave of the Gunners’ attacks .
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However, despite his impressive performance, the only reason Matic played the game in the first place was because he pleaded with Mourinho to let him do so. The Portuguese boss was hesitant, but the sheer importance of the clash at the Emirates meant he simply could not refuse.
United’s final game in the group stages of the Champions League seems to have provided Mourinho with the perfect opportunity to rest some key players ahead of the crucial and most anticipated game of the season – the Manchester derby.
Having won 4 and lost just 1 of their group games, the Red Devils just need a single point to qualify and with the game practically a dead-rubber, Mourinho will take the opportunity to give his fringe players a chance to impress while resting the major players.
The 54-year-old told reporters: “We have problems, we have injuries. Matic is injured and when I say he is injured, he is injured.
“I am not going to make him play tomorrow so Matic is out. A couple of others guys are playing every match and they also need a rest. More importantly, the others deserve an opportunity to play.”
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