Michael Carrick 'desperate' to win Europa League, praises 'winner' Jose Mourinho


Arsenal are back in the hunt to qualify for the Champions League after Arsene Wenger finally got the better of Jose Mourinho in a 2-0 win over Manchester United, while Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton on Sunday.

However, ahead of Thursday night's Europa League semifinal second leg tie with Celta Vigo, he told a news conference: "My focus is on getting into this final".

"Apart from that, I can not ask more from players who do not play one minute of football in the past seven weeks like Smalling and Mata".

"It was a decision based on common sense". 17 matches in seven weeks, April and May, 17 matches with 16 players is completely impossible. They are now in fifth place four points behind city rivals Manchester City with three games left to play.

It was important because we lost at Tottenham - that didn't happen many times. It was not a gamble, but a effect of our situation.

"We must play Thursday (against Celta Vigo) and then we go again against Tottenham, but we can not go with everything against Tottenham", the United manager said.

"But it doesn't matter what, no regrets".

"Hopefully this result will give us confidence", said man-of-the-match Aaron Ramsey.

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"It's the biggest competition we've had a realistic chance of winning in the last two or three years".

Celta have scored in all six of their Europa League away games this season and with United's lead so slender, Mourinho challenged the club's supporters to provide a fitting atmosphere for the occasion. They are a very good team, very unsafe when they play away and we will need our fans at home.

"And for this group of players, we have just a little group with European success, I think Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Young, this group of English boys with a long time in the club plus [Juan] Mata".

Mourinho said a week ago, 'let's hope Old Trafford wants the win because when Old Trafford wants it, we win'.

The players' behaviour before kick-off was criticised by pundits such as Phil Neville and Martin Keown, with United and Arsenal enjoying a fierce rivalry during the duo's playing days.

Rashford is expected to undergo a late fitness test before the match to see whether he will be able to be back to punish Celta Vigo again.

"The most important thing is to be in the Champions League next season; I have no doubt for this club it is very important to be in the Champions League", the midfielder said.