Community Shield: Why I Subbed Mata – Mourinho

Yesterday, English FA Cup holders Manchester United took on Leicester City  in a Community Shield clash. Manchester United won the game 2-1 courtesy of goals from Jesse Lingard and new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Manchester United lead at the break through Lingard’s 32nd-minute goal.

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy then equalised in the 52nd minute after capitalising on Marouane Fellaini‘s dreadful back-pass.

Zlatan then put United in front after heading in a crossed ball from winger Antonio Valencia.

A particular highlight in the game apart from the goals and chances was the substitution of Spanish playmaker Juan Mata.

Mata was brought into the game in the 63rd minute of play and then taken off in just 30 minutes, replaced by Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Spaniard was seen to be displeased by Jose Mourinho‘s decision.

But Mourinho eventually defended his decision in a post match interview saying he replaced Mata because he wanted to defend against high balls in the final minutes.

He played very well, he gave me exactly what I needed,” Mourinho said. “The rules allowed 6 changes, and I wanted to stop the game, to kill time. I have one more player (to bring on) and I have to pick the smallest one (to come off).

I know it would end with long balls, throw-ins, so I don’t pick (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic or (Marouane) Fellaini for sure. Mata is the smallest one.

He was very angry but they threw everything. We want to win and everybody is happy in the end.” Mourinho added.