Steve Bower: “So it’s the game Jose Mourinho didn’t want, on the day he didn’t want; the week ahead will determine if it turns out to be the season he didn’t want, with events in Stockholm on Wednesday determining whether he has restored the Champions League nights for Manchester United”.
Sergio Romero staked his claim in David de Gea’s absence as he pulled off a string of superb stops – including an early penalty save – to help Manchester United claim a 0-0 Premier League draw at Southampton.
“I hope to play Sergio in the final and hopefully we don’t have problems with the keepers. But David is top in the world and obviously we want to keep the top in the world”. “He needs to play on Sunday because he has not trained or played for a while”, Mourinho said after the Frenchman joined the players at an open training session. United have more experience and more money than us but we have fantastic players.
“The club should be interested in the money because it gives us a bigger budget”.
Southampton struggled to relieve the pressure building on manager Claude Puel against an under-strength United.
“We played a good team, a team who tried to win and tried to finish well”, Mourinho said after visiting goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved a barrage of hard shots, including Manolo Gabbiadini’s fifth-minute penalty. “I think we did more than ok”, he said.
“He’s talking about a dilemma between playing the two centre-backs, I think he could play the pair of them”, he added.
Allardyce has said he will make some changes for the game, some of which may be enforced through injury, but he says he does not intend to experiment too much, despite there being question marks over the futures of a number of players who are out of contract this summer.
The Saints have also failed to score in their last four home games as they prepare to host 14th-placed Stoke City in the final game of the season on Sunday.
Romero showed United will be in safe hands if De Gea departs the club. These talented players don’t arrive at Ajax by accident.