The Manchester Derby’s loss is the UEFA Champions League’s gain.
With Manchester United virtually locked into the knockout rounds for some time — but still needing to get across the line — Paul Pogba was likely to be rested for Tuesday’s match with CSKA Moscow until he picked up a red card this weekend against Arsenal.
[ WATCH: Pogba’s red card tackle ]
Now Pogba will miss next Sunday’s match against Man City, and manager Jose Mourinho will use him Tuesday.
“He is very happy to play tomorrow,” says Mourinho. “It is the match that matters. Of course he is a bit tired because it was a huge match last weekend and just two days to recover. He is very happy to play tomorrow and try to keep this momentum – since he was back form injury he has been phenomenal.”
Mourinho also explained that Ibrahimovic is not injured, per se, but has to be careful how often he plays and trains as he continues to work toward full fitness following his serious knee injury. The recovery allows him to be fit to play, but United has to take a measured approach with their veteran freak of nature.
He says he’s not thinking of the derby, but that’s unlikely. United’s weekend may make the difference between a true title fight and the polishing of a place in City’s trophy case.