Manchester United boss Mourinho said his side’s performance in the 2-0 win at Bournemouth has left him with a selection headache ahead of the FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham.
The United manager made seven changes to the team that lost 1-0 to West Brom at Old Trafford on Sunday. It was a move that paid off after goals from Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku earned victory on Wednesday night to all but secure a top-four finish.
Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were all recalled to the starting XI following the dire performance at the weekend. And Mourinho revealed afterwards they had given themselves a chance of being named in the team to face Spurs.
“I would say every player on the pitch was positive and put himself forward for Saturday,” he told BT Sport. “The players were good.
“I think it was a good team performance — professional, good effort, desire to play and to have the ball. Part of that collective performance, good individual performances all of them.
“Everything was different. Everything was faster, everything was simple, not trying one more touch, one more trick, one more flick. Everything was good.”
Paul Pogba was one of just four players who kept their places and the Frenchman also impressed after playing a part in both goals. He was substituted in the second-half along with Ander Herrera and Lingard — possibly with one eye on semifinal in three days’ time.
“He played very well,” Mourinho added. “Against Manchester City he was phenomenal, also because of the goals, but today he was very, very good.”
The result moves United four points clear of Liverpool in third place with four games remaining. It also means Mourinho’s team are on the verge of being guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League. He added: “One point is probably enough, maximum two and when we have that we can think third and second.”
Smalling said United were motivated by their shock loss to the bottom-of-the-table Baggies.
He told BT Sport: “We all knew we weren’t good enough against West Brom and we needed to stand up tonight and put on a performance. You could see the lads were up for it.
“Quite often when I get my goals they come in a few games. It was nice to contribute in that way as well.
“Our goal for a little while now has been to make sure we get to the FA Cup final. This is the perfect way to lead into the weekend.”