Jose Mourinho will stick with his plan to rest some of Manchester United’s players in their Premier League clash with Arsenal on Sunday.
The United boss saw his side move a step closer to the Europa League final as Marcus Rashford’s splendid free-kick secured a deserved, if hard-fought, 1-0 first-leg win at Celta Vigo.
The away goal could prove crucial but the narrow winning margin means Mourinho will, as suggested on the eve of the first leg, rest several players when United return to Premier League action on Sunday.
The trip to Arsenal is important in the race for the top-four, but the Portuguese knows the job is not done in a competition that offers Champions League qualification as well as a historic trophy.
Asked if he will rest players at The Emirates on Sunday ahead of the second leg, he said: “The players that are in accumulation, the players that are with lots of minutes because we played nine matches in April and this one, so 10 matches in four-and-a-half weeks.
“The players that are in accumulation, they are not going to play next weekend.”
United could easily have had one foot in the Stockholm final, but they could not get the commanding result that their dominant play warranted.
“Sergio (Alvarez, Celta goalkeeper) had a couple of very important saves and the way we started the game and controlled the game in the first half, I think we deserve a better result,” Mourinho added.
“But the opponent was difficult, the match was difficult, the stadium was difficult, so I cannot be happier with the players and their work.
“1-0 is really a short result. It could have been better, and seeing Celta’s trajectory in the Europa League, they definitely deserve respect for the away match.”
Rashford could well be among those rested given he limped off at Balaidos and has played more than any other attacking player for United since the start of April.
Again leading the line in the absence of injured top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the 19-year-old followed up his extra-time quarter-final strike against Anderlecht with a fine second-half free-kick in Vigo.
“He worked really hard and created them problems,” Mourinho said of Rashford. “He had a fantastic shot in the first half with that beautiful save.
“Then the free-kick is work – he works every day, he loves to work.
“Sometimes training session finishes for the group and he keeps doing his individual work with my assistant.
“The free-kick is really well taken and I think the goalkeeper has no chance because the ball is really fast.”