Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho bemoans ‘ridiculous’ opener for Tottenham Hotspur in defeat at Wembley
PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 February 2018
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Christian Eriksen scored after just 11 seconds for Spurs and the Red Devils boss highlighted four key mistakes in the build-up to the goal
Jose Mourinho was left to rue a ridiculous goal in Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur last night.
The 55-year-old bemoaned the four mistakes made by his players in the lead-up to Christian Eriksen’s 11-second opener at Wembley.
Phil Jones then put through his own net with 28 on the clock, but Mourinho couldn’t hide his disappointment with the first goal of the Premier League game.
He said: “I don’t think it is very normal to concede a goal like we did. We did that last season at Stamford Bridge.
“After the kick-off, it is ridiculous. It is especially ridiculous because the players watched it before.
“We analyse opponents and we work on the dynamics and routines and the players knew the long ball, they knew Harry Kane normally is inside the opponent’s half before the kick-off, so we knew everything.
“Then we don’t press the ball. One mistake. We don’t win the ball in the air. Second mistake. We don’t win the ball on the ground. Third mistake, and we don’t cover inside the full-back where Eriksen comes. Fourth mistake.
“That is four mistakes inside 15 seconds and you are losing 1-0 against a good team, but I saw a good reaction.
“For 10 to 15 minutes we played in their half, we created something and we came close, so the feeling was we were in the game, but the second goal comes.
“The second goal I don’t call ridiculous, I just call this unlucky, so unlucky is different to ridiculous and after that Tottenham have the game in their hands and they can play the way they want to.
“Tottenham are very good at counter-attacking and they were very compact and pressed well and the game was in their hands.”
United were fortunate it finished only 2-0 with Spurs missing a hatful of chances at Wembley – Mourinho tried to turn the tide of the game by introducing Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini, but the latter only lasted seven minutes.
The former Chelsea manager insisted afterwards the Belgium international went off with a lateral ligament injury and it was one of many talking points for the visitors.
Alexis Sanchez made his first Premier League start for United since his move from Arsenal and Mourinho declared himself encouraging by his effort.
He said: “Alexis worked hard, but again the transformation the game had, it was not for him.
“In the second half I tried to give him a position where he could be close to (Romelul) Lukaku, but then he felt the need to drop too much to try and organise.
“He did give everything, so it was a good effort and this is a good feeling for me to know that the player is available with that spirit.”
Mourinho went on to finish by reiterating United’s aim for this season in the league is to now finish as high as possible.
“We knew the distance to the leader was considerable even before this match,” said the Red Devils boss.
“Now we have us, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal who will be there fighting for the positions.”
Only five points separates second-placed United and fifth in the table Tottenham with 13 games left to play, as the race for a top-four finish heats up.