Football

Mourinho takes a dig at Guardiola and Wenger

United boss takes dig at Guardiola, Wenger, claiming he won't lie about injuries

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has delivered a stinging jibe at Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger by declaring he would only tell "the truth" about the fitness of his players.

United, who beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 yesterday morning (Singapore time) to reach the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2013-14, face Guardiola's Manchester City on Monday morning seeking to cut their eight-point lead in the Premier League.

Mourinho suggested Guardiola was being less than truthful by expressing doubts about the fitness of David Silva and hinted Wenger had done the same with regard to Alexandre Lacazette prior to United's 3-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday.

Asked to provide a fitness update on his squad, Mourinho told reporters at Old Trafford: "Do you want the truth? The truth is Eric Bailly no chance for the weekend. Phil Jones a chance. (Marouane) Fellaini a chance.

"Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) a big chance and (Nemanja) Matic is injured, but will play for sure. I'm telling the truth. He's injured, but he'll play for sure.

"(Michael) Carrick no chance. It's the truth, eh? No stories of Lacazette, David Silva. All the truth."

Wenger ruled Lacazette out of Arsenal's meeting with United last weekend due to a groin injury, only for the French striker to play the full 90 minutes and score his side's goal.

Mourinho joked Arsenal's medical team had performed an "amazing" feat by turning Lacazette "from a no to a complete 90 minutes".

Silva, meanwhile, was left out of City's squad for their game at Shakhtar Donetsk yesterday morning due to an unspecified injury, with Guardiola saying he did not know if the Spaniard would be fit for the upcoming trip to Old Trafford.

Wenger, however, hit back at Mourinho yesterday by insisting he wasn't using gamesmanship when he picked Lacazette to face United.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal's Europa League game against Bate Borisov tomorrow morning, Wenger was asked about Mourinho's comments and he said was expecting to go into the United game without the former Lyon star.

"I thought he wouldn't play. In the end, he could play. What did you want me to do, leave him at home?", he said.

"I'm always honest. I thought really that he wouldn't play, that was what I had been told.

"After, he had a test on Friday morning and went to the game. We weren't sure he would play but he tried and he played, that's part of football."

In yesterday morning's match, United fell behind late in the first half when Vitinho's shot from Mario Fernandes's cut-back struck teammate Alan Dzagoev on its way into the net.

United turned the game around with two goals in two minutes from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford in the second half to progress to the last 16 as Group A winners.

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid are among the teams United could now face in the next round, but Mourinho said his side would advance confident that they will inspire fear in their next opponents.

He said: "It doesn't matter the team we get in the draw. I think that team won't be jumping with happiness to play against us."

Meanwhile, CSKA dropped into the Europa League after Basel beat Benfica 2-0 away to join United in the last 16. - AFP


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