Chris Smalling played through the pain barrier to complete the entirety of United's 2-2 draw with Arsenal – a game the defender described as
“intense from zero to 90 minutes”.
“I think we’re frustrated. We took the initiative in both halves – especially in the second half. We were on the front foot and put them on the back foot. I thought maybe our aggression and intensity deserved another goal.”
“Yeah, it was. We knew that they take risks from the back, that we’d be presented chances, and we knew that if we got after them we’d make it uncomfortable for them, and I felt like they were pretty uncomfortable for most of the night.”
“Yeah. I think their first was a scrappy goal and, yeah, we were on the back foot again, but this team never gives up and you can see that.”
“I was a major doubt and I’ve not trained too much, but we’re in a time where the team comes first, and I’d give everything I can to get on that pitch and to help the boys as much as I can.”
“You could probably say our whole backline has not played many minutes. I think it’s just important that everyone does what they can to make themselves available for the game, and has as much treatment and care as they can during the week.”
“Yeah, I was. He was very good, and so was Marcos [Rojo] and Eric [Bailly], who haven’t played so much either. To come into a game of that intensity – it wasn’t just spells of intensity, it was pretty much intense from zero to 90 minutes – it was very impressive.”
Our post-match interview with MourinhoVideo
“It was, and it really ramped up in that second half. It was quite end-to-end. You could see how much three points meant to both of us, so we were going for it. If we can bring that intensity to each game, it really lifts the crowd, because you could see how much they were vibing off it.”
“He’s been so unlucky with injuries, but you could see his aggression, his quality on the ball, and to be able to come into a game of this magnitude and high profile and put on the performance he has is very impressive.”
“Yes. We have to decrease this gap that we’ve got right now, and we’ve had a few too many draws. But there are many games coming up, and it’s just about closing that gap now and getting within touching distance.”
“I think I won’t be doing much up until the next game [in terms of training] but I’ll be doing everything I can to make myself available.”
United 2 Arsenal 2 Gallery
Make sure you flick through the standout images from a big night at Old Trafford.