Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal v Manchester United: Jose says there's no animosity between Wenger and him


By Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho says there is no need to make peace with old foe Arsene Wenger as there are no problems between them.

As the Premier League heads towards a fascinating conclusion, Arsenal need victory against Manchester United tomorrow to bolster their ailing top-four hopes.

To do that, under-fire Wenger will need to finally beat Mourinho in a Premier League match at the 13th time of asking on an afternoon when cameras are sure to be trained on the dugouts.

The pair have endured a combustible relationship since the Portuguese arrived on English soil in 2004, but the Arsenal boss says he is willing to make peace with his old rival.

Mourinho once labelled Wenger a "specialist in failure" and the United manager believes talk of a truce is unnecessary.

"He doesn't need to (make peace)," Mourinho said. "There are no problems.

"In the last match at Old Trafford, we shook hands before and after. I met him in the corridor for the press conferences, we shook hands again.

"He doesn't need to make peace. When there is peace, I don't have to have a problem.

"I've been in football all my life. A problem on the pitch, the next day is not a problem.

"So for me, no problem at all and I think he will be very, very pleased with me that I am going to change my team to play against Arsenal, so I think he'll be really happy with me!"

United's team selection should be interesting given Mourinho will rest some players with an eye on Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg against Celta Vigo.

The United boss was pleased with the first-leg performance in Spain but the narrow 1-0 win was not enough to kill the tie.

The Europa League is now Mourinho's main focus as he believes their top-four tilt is all but over, despite sitting fifth and a point behind Manchester City.

"We are going to try (to win)," the Portuguese said of the trip to north London. "If Celta was playing with their best team, if Celta was fighting for important things in La Liga, we would go in the same circumstances.

"But I cannot now play with the same team, and then repeat again on the next Thursday.

"So, we have to be human with the players, we have to be sensible and show common sense in relation to our situation in the Premier League.

"And I think the last match against Swansea was last our last chance to fight for top four, so I am going to rest players, yeah."

The only player Mourinho confirmed would start at Arsenal is David de Gea.

The coveted Spain goalkeeper was reduced to a watching brief in Vigo as Sergio Romero produced another solid display.

Mourinho, though, has given him hope of starting the Europa League final should they make it.

"I don't like to say this competition is for one goalkeeper, that competition is for another," he said. "Sergio played one match in the Premier League, David played two matches in the Europa League.

"We have great goalkeepers, and (against) anyone in the world I trust completely."

Belfast Telegraph


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