Search icon


13th Mar 2017

Man United fans question Jose Mourinho’s decision not to play Eric Bailly at Stamford Bridge

Have they got point?


Forget all the prematch talk about Manchester United’s lack of striking options ahead of their FA Cup quarter final at Chelsea.

With the team news doing the rounds in the hour before kick off at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho’s defensive lineup was as much of a talking point amongst United’s supporters.

Mourinho opted to start with five defenders for the game, three centre halves – Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones – with Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian playing as wing backs.

The formation represented a change to United’s defensive shape, with Mourinho favouring four at the back for most of the season.

As well as this, United fans were also surprised to see that there was no space for Eric Bailly.

The Ivorian became Mourinho’s first signing for United when he tied up a deal with Villarreal last summer. Despite impressing in his early performances for the club, he hasn’t featured regularly for them since returning from the African Cup of Nations in January.

The fact that Bailly was only on the bench for the game at Stamford Bridge came as a surprise to many United fans, especially with the news that Phil Jones – at fault for the penalty which saw Bournemouth equalise in their last Premier League outing and for allowing Rostov to draw level in the Europa League – had been given the nod to start.