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04th Dec 2017

Jose Mourinho couldn’t resist a dig at Arsene Wenger in his latest press conference

Even after beating Arsenal on their own patch...

Simon Lloyd

Having watched his Manchester United side take all three points from The Emirates on Saturday evening, you’d think Jose Mourinho’s focus would be fixed firmly on the week ahead.

Although United are all but mathematically through to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in four years, there’s still work to do with CSKA Moscow visiting the Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Despite this, as he fielded questions from the media ahead of the game with the Russian champions, Mourinho couldn’t resist aiming a dig at old adversary, Arsene Wenger.

Asked about a possible return for Michael Carrick, who recently confirmed he’d been unavailable for selection after he was found to have an ‘irregular heart rhythm’, the United boss initially appeared to rule the midfielder out, only to quickly follow this by suggesting he might be involved after all.

“All the other players that didn’t play the last match are still out,” he said. He then added: “I can make a surprise tomorrow and the one that is unavailable, he plays.”

This, if not already obvious, was a reference to Alexandre Lacazette’s inclusion on Saturday. The French forward had been ruled out of the game by Arsene Wenger earlier in the week, only to start and score Arsenal’s only goal.

As for Carrick, it remains to be seen if he does make his first appearance since the Carabao Cup meeting with Burton in September. It’s still unclear if the former West Ham and Tottenham player intends to retire at the end of the season, though Mourinho did recently reveal that he had offered him a place on his coaching team.