Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Man United held by Southampton in 0-0 stalemate

Man United held by Southampton in 0-0 stalemate

United host Crystal Palace on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday before facing Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm on 24 May.

The Argentine delighted supporters during Manchester United's 0-0 draw with Southampton on Wednesday night with an exceptional string of saves, including an astonishing stop to keep out Manolo Gabbiadini's penalty.

Southampton, beaten 3-2 by United in the League Cup final at Wembley in February, have now won just one of their last eight home games in all competitions, while United stretched their winless league run to five.

"I think we played a good team, a good game, against a team that tried to win and tried to finish well and finish eighth. I hope the fans at Old Trafford support the team, they forgive some naivety, they forgive some lack of confidence", he added.

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"And I hope that Big Sam (Allardyce, the Palace manager) shows he is a good friend and he goes slow".

"In any country in the world the match would be Saturday, because Sunday we are sixth, doesn't matter what, and Crystal Palace are safe", said Mourinho.

Despite publicly claiming this match would have no bearing on United's season, Mourinho needed a victory to avoid the unwanted record of ending his maiden Old Trafford campaign with fewer points than both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal accumulated in their combined three years.

That news did little to quell rumours of De Gea's imminent departure, with his appearance against Tottenham last time out possibly his final in a United shirt, but Mourinho moved quickly to confirm the Spaniard is still firmly in his plans.

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But watching Mourinho afterwards, it was probably the first time in about six months that I have seen him relaxed and smiling. We try first to get to the final, then if we do it, we try to win the final.


For those who do play against Palace, a good performance could put them in contention for a place in the squad for the game against Ajax.

"I don't go with [Romero can replace De Gea] "if he leaves" because I hope he doesn't", Mourinho said.

The game ended scoreless on the evening but Mourinho will be disappointed to have Bailly, Mata, and Marouane Fellaini all injured.

Romero said: "For me, the final is very important". In fact, United would lose approximately $27 million in its kit deal with the apparel manufacturer if they don't make it back to the UCL next season.

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"I think we deserved to score".

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