Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Naive Bailly will be sorely missed in Europa League final, says Manchester United boss Jose

Man United 1 Celta Vigo 1

By Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho described Eric Bailly as "naive" and admitted the defender will be a big loss for his side in the Europa League final following his sending off against Celta Vigo.

Bailly and Celta's Facundo Roncaglia were both dismissed following a heated clash two minutes from time at Old Trafford, before United progressed 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their semi-final.

The Ivory Coast international will now have to sit out the final in Stockholm against Ajax on May 24 due to the suspension that will inevitably follow.

Speaking about the defender, Mourinho said: "I didn't see the incident, but he was phenomenal.

"The game was emotional until the end for everyone. Some kept in control in better ways than others did.

"I don't know, but I think it was with Roncaglia, right?

"Roncaglia's not a new person to these kind of situations and probably Eric was a bit naive.

"We lose a very important player for the final and we don't have many."

Marouane Fellaini's first-half header doubled United's aggregate lead before Roncaglia set up a nervy final few minutes by nodding home for the Spanish side five minutes from time.

Bailly and the visitors' goalscorer were then dismissed before Celta striker John Guidetti wasted a golden chance in the final moments of the match.

The ball dropped to the former Manchester City and Celtic striker in the box, but he could only scuff his effort under pressure with the goalmouth gaping.

Mourinho said he expected a close second leg after United failed to finish the tie during an impressive display in Spain last week, squandering several chances to kill off the game.

"I could guess after the first match because it was similar to Anderlecht (in the quarter-finals)," he added.

"You are the best team by far in the first leg, you have to kill everything in the first leg.

"Because we never score goals related to the chances we have and then we got an open game at home with all the pressure in our side," he said.

"They gave us a very hard match so we had to suffer until the end. Everything was open until the last second.

"The boys didn't play a phenomenal match but they fought, they gave everything they had to give and I'm really pleased for them because 14 matches and we're in the final."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph