By 90Min
November 29, 2017

José Mourinho is heavily revered as a master tactician, obsessed with drilling his team into defensive perfection. In Tuesday night's frantic 4-2 win away at Watford, Mourinho's tactical nous was almost called into action in the dying moments of the game. 

For if it weren't for Jesse Lingard's solo goal that killed almost all of Watford's spirit, then perhaps we would've seen Mourinho's counter-measure for a Watford comeback. 

According to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles, when Watford brought the scoreline within one goal, Mourinho was planning to bring on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but not for the reasons you think. 

With Manchester United leading 3-2 it would've come across as quite peculiar to bring on a striker instead of a defender. Though, Castles revealed after the game through a retweet that Mourinho planned to use every inch of Zlatan's 6ft 5in frame to quash any dreams Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes had of coming forward in search of a last-minute equaliser.

In the event of a Watford corner, and in the event that Gomes would surge forward, Ibrahimovic would be subbed on with the sole role of marking the keeper. 

Clive Rose/GettyImages

Fortunately for Mourinho, Lingard's dagger to the Watford hearts prevented that reality from occurring, and United left Vicarage Road with all three points. Mourinho did however give the big Swede some game time, as he has done previously against FC Basel and Brighton.

The United boss will want to slowly integrate Zlatan back into the squad, as the Swede is coming off a career-threatening knee injury that kept him out for seven months. 

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