Smug Devils thrive
Mou happy but faces pressure after Anfield
Jose Mourinho could not help sounding a little smug about denting the hype surrounding Liverpool when he said his Manchester United team had shown that Juergen Klopp’s high flyers were not “the last wonder of the world” on Monday.
Yet after a 0-0 draw in the Premier League at Anfield, low on quality and high on yawns, the satisfied Special One might just as well have reflected on the lack of stardust sprinkled by his own expensive wonders, who offered just one shot on target in a game to forget.
United held Klopp’s attractive side with relative comfort, thanks to the tactical excellence of his stifling setup and a couple of blinding saves from David de Gea yet they offered precious little in attacking invention and creation. Their two mega-signings of the close season, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, combined for their best moment, only for the Swede’s close-range header from the Frenchman’s cross to bumble harmlessly across goal.
This summed up United’s blunt edge and left one of their distinguished old boys, former England fullback Gary Neville, watching from the Sky Sports studio, to opine: “I don’t think this team are ready to win the league. “They don’t have the quality to counter-attack at pace.”
Mourinho, though, was adamant: “We controlled the game not just tactically but the emotion of the game. ”
He reckoned the British media had been swooning about Liverpool’s form and declared: “They are not the last wonder of the world.
“People expected us to come here and be really in trouble, which we were not.”
“They are not the last wonder of the world. People expected us to come here and be really in trouble, which we were not.” -JOSE MOURINHO
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with Ashley Young during their Premier League against Liverpool at Anfield October 17.