• Mkhitaryan missed United's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
  • The Armenian is expected to return for the Boxing Day clash against Sunderland.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he was "not happy" with Danny Rose's tackle on Henrikh Mkhitaryan that left the attacker leave the pitch on the stretcher in the Red Devils' 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

The Armenian international, who scored his first goal for the 20-time English champions in United's Europa League victory over Zorya Luhansk continued his impressive run against the north London club. He netted his first goal in the Premier League in front of the home fans on 11 December.

However, Mkhitaryan was not able to finish the match as a tackle from Rose in the 85<sup>th minute saw the 27-year-old leave the pitch with an ankle injury. The England international was booked by referee Robert Madley and United manager gave his thoughts on the match official in his side's victory over Tottenham.

"I am not happy but it is football and sometimes you go over the limit in a big match," Mourinho explained, as quoted by The Guardian.

"The referee did very well and I am happy for him because normally these matches are given to the ref with more experience, more status. I think for him it was the biggest match he had refereed in the Premier League.

"He did very well and probably he wanted to finish the game without a red card. He gave a yellow card and for me that's fine," he said.

Mourinho confirmed Mkhitaryan's injury is not serious and he is expecting the player to return for the Boxing Day fixture against Sunderland. He already missed the Old Trafford club's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on 14 December and is likely to miss the weekend Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion.

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager is not the first one to criticise Rose for his tackles on the opposition players. Earlier in November, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger singled out Tottenham full-back for his "bad" tackle on Hector Bellerin in the north London derby that left the Spaniard spend four weeks on the sidelines.

Bellerin missed the remaining fixtures in November and returned to action in his side's 3-1 win over Stoke City. He even started in his side's 2-1 defeat to Everton on 13 December.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Danny Rose's tackle on Henrikh Mkhitaryan forced the Armenian to leave the pitch on a stretcher Getty