‘Mourinho got team wrong – Rooney should have started’

Date published: Monday 16th January 2017 12:26

Jose Mourinho got his Manchester United team selection wrong against Liverpool, according to Ray Wilkins.

United salvaged a late 1-1 draw against the Reds at Old Trafford on Sunday, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic cancelling out James Milner’s first-half penalty. You can read 16 Conclusions here.

The point keeps United in sixth, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, and 12 off the pace of leaders Chelsea.

Mourinho opted not to start captain Wayne Rooney despite his impressive performance in the FA Cup against Reading last week.

The 31-year-old was introduced as a second-half substitute, but Wilkins believes he should have started.

“I think the Man United team selection was wrong,” Wilkins told Sky Sports.

“I would have thrown Rooney in from the start.

“He showed his quality for their goal and he should have started.”

As Daniel Storey wrote in one of said 16 Conclusions:

‘Rooney was introduced at half-time for the struggling Carrick, and was cheered by United supporters hoping to see a record-breaking goal.

‘That was as good as it got. Rooney drifted out wide, and failed to beat his man. Rooney dropped deep and did little more than slow down play. Rooney tried to pass the ball, but completed them with an accuracy of just 65%, a level that dropped to 60% when in Liverpool’s half.

You can’t doubt the desire, but Rooney’s body just can’t match up. He was a hindrance to United’s attempts to get back into the game, not a help. Oh, and he could easily have been sent off for an awful challenge on Milner.’

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