Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Sanchez Gives Mourinho New Set of Options

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Sanchez Gives Mourinho New Set of Options

Article excerpt

UNITED fans must have known they were in for a treat from the moment they arrived at Huish Park.

Terracing was the sight that greeted the supporters who braved the six hour-plus drive south for the ludicrous Friday night kick-off at Yeovil.

A night of (legal) standing behind the goal and cheering United on to victory harked back to yesteryear. As did the state of the League Two pitch.

But the sight of Alexis Sanchez making his debut was enough to jolt supporters back into the modern age. It was an unexpected venue for the Chilean's first outing in United red, and his first involvement was greeted with a shout from the home fans of 'you've dropped a tenner!' The turf was heavy, the tackles occasionally wild, the pitch cramped and the home support ferocious.

Sanchez's response, two assists and a man-of-the-match display, was perfect.

It came as no surprise to Jose Mourinho . But while he insisted that Sanchez 'needed to play', it was telling that he felt differently about his other star men.

And the identity of those absent or on the bench in Somerset revealed that nine spots in Mourinho's best XI are already accounted for. David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba, and Phil Jones were spared the Friday night trip and should come straight back into the starting line-up for the game against Spurs at Wembley on Wednesday.

Anthony Martial as also given the night off, in a move that confirmed his growing status.

The new No been brought warm the Alex Mourinho spent the first part of the season rotating Martial with Marcus Rashford on the left wing, but the past few weeks have proved that it is the Frenchman currently some way ahead in the pecking order.

And his rest signifies that he has less to worry about following the arrival of Sanchez.

Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard both came on to score at Huish Park, but their names were among the subs after a heavy workload in the Premier League in recent weeks, while Nemanja Matic stayed on the bench and is one of the first names on Mourinho's teamsheet for the bigger fixtures.

Eric Bailly will be a certain starter as soon as he recovers from injury, although the performances of Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo against League Two opposition should ensure Chris Smalling continues keeping the seat warm as Jones' settled partner. …

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