Jose Mourinho explains why beating Derby County at Old Trafford was important

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has revealed that a replay against Derby County would have prevented Manchester United from taking a trip to Dubai next week.

The hosts appeared to be heading for a replay at Pride Park after Marcus Rashford struck the post twice and Paul Pogba missed an open goal.

But Jesse Lingard, once again, came up with a decisive intervention with six minutes left, firing an inch-perfect drive into the top corner before Romelu Lukaku killed the game in the 90th minute.

And Mourinho, speaking after the game, noted that the 25-year-old’s strike ensured his players would enjoy some time in the Dubai sun next week.

“Did you see the players celebrating the second goal?” he said. “It is because everyone wants to go to Dubai.”

Following a hectic December period comprising of ten games in 31 games, Mourinho’s finally have some much needed time off – a ten day break before taking on a struggling Stoke City side at home.

The festive period is enjoyable, don’t get me wrong. Having football on almost every day over Christmas is a great way to ignore family members, but it simply doesn’t protect the players. Every single one of them will be feeling it. They need to make the most of this break and come back ready for the business end of the season.

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