Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United could not have played any better than they did in the 1-1 draw against Rostov in the Europa League.
Mkhitaryan put United up before the break, but Bhukarov scored in the second half to keep the Russian side in it.
Even though United don’t have a commanding advantage, Mourinho is pleased with how his men played and knows they can’t afford any slip up on the second leg.
“It was a very good performance in relation to the conditions,” he told reporters. “It was impossible to play better, impossible to play a passing game. We played what the game demanded and we played well. We made one defensive mistake.
“We have an open result for the second leg with a little advantage for us. There are no injuries. I think we had a positive result. We know we need to win or to have a 0-0 draw so the game is open, the tie is open. But, in these circumstances, I think it was a good result.
“The game plan was that we know they don’t try to play – they tried to put the ball always to the front, into their strikers. That’s the way they play on this pitch and so the best thing to do was to play three at the back. Our three central defenders had a very positive game. The midfield fought for the second goal and tried to give something in attack.
“An away goal is always positive; it’s better 1-1 than 0-0, obviously. But the game is open, the result is open and this Rostov team has experience of playing big matches, big opponents, big stadiums. I don’t think it’s a problem for them to go to Old Trafford and play us.
“They play Sunday against Terek Grozny, we play Monday against Chelsea – they know they have more time. It’s more difficult but we are one step from the quarter-finals. Old Trafford will push us and hopefully we’ll get to the quarter-finals.”