Jose Mourinho hailed his Manchester United substitutes after Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Valencia in the Champions League.
A goal from Carlos Soler and a Phil Jones own goal handed Valencia the initiative before United gave themselves hope four minutes from time as sub Marcus Rashford headed in from close range after fellow sub Ashley Young’s cross.
It was though a 2-1 defeat which was immaterial as they qualified for the last 16 in second place behind Juventus, but Mourinho was happy with Rashford, who replaced Fred on 57 minutes and Jesse Lingard who came on for Romelu Lukaku with 21 minutes remaining and claimed the team “improved immediately”.
Jose Mourinho told BT Sport: “I think we were too passive in the first half. We were quite comfortable with the ball but not in intensity and ambition.
“In the second half I was pretty sure that after speaking at half-time things could be different but we started with an own goal that gave Valencia a better position to control the game.
“I made the two changes later and the team improved immediately, we started playing faster, arriving with link play in more dangerous positions, and we probably should get to 2-2 because we had a couple of good chances to equalise. But we started the first half playing too comfortable and not with enough intensity.
“This is not about Liverpool [on Sunday] today, this is about Champions League. I don’t know why you bring it up. We go to every match with the intention to win, sometimes you do sometimes you don’t but the intention is always the same.
“Tonight it is job done in a difficult group, I don’t think we were brilliant in this group phase, but with the problems we had and the injuries we had we manged to come here already qualified.”