Mourinho sent off as Man Utd slump goes on

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands as his Manch­ester United side drew 1-1 at home to West Ham United in the Premier League yes­ter­day. Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic can­celled out Di­afra Sakho’s open­ing goal to leave United con­tem­plat­ing a run of four straight home league draws for the first time since Dave Sex­ton’s man­age­rial ten­ure in 198081. Mourinho, the cur­rent United man­ager, was dis­missed by ref­eree Jonathan Moss in the 27th minute when he kicked a wa­ter bot­tle in anger af­ter mid­fielder Paul Pogba was cau­tioned for sim­u­la­tion.

Mourinho, whose side have fallen 11 points be­low pace-set­ters Chelsea, now faces Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion cen­sure for the third time in barely two months. He served a one-match touch­line ban and had to pay an 8,000 pounds ($9,980, 9,420 eu­ros) fine for ar­gu­ing with ref­eree Mark Clat­ten­burg dur­ing the re­cent home draw with Burn­ley. Prior to that, he had been fined 50,000 pounds by the FA for claim­ing Manch­ester-based ref­eree An­thony Tay­lor would find it dif­fi­cult to per­form well in a game at Liver­pool.

To add to the volatile sit­u­a­tion, Mourinho served a one-match sta­dium sus­pen­sion last sea­son, when Chelsea man­ager, af­ter an an­gry con­fronta­tion with Moss dur­ing a game at West Ham. On that oc­ca­sion the Por­tuguese had to be es­corted from the ref­eree’s room at half-time by sta­dium se­cu­rity.

Mourinho’s mood at Old Traf­ford can­not have been helped by the fact his side con­ceded within two min­utes of kick-off.

Jesse Lin­gard brought down Dim­itri Payet, who took the re­sult­ing free-kick and planted the ball onto the head of Sakho, who slipped marker Ibrahi­movic and con­verted pow­er­fully from six yards. United’s Swedish striker made up for that er­ror on 21 min­utes, how­ever, when he headed the hosts level from sim­i­lar dis­tance af­ter con­nect­ing with Pogba’s ex­cel­lent chipped through ball. It was no more than United de­served for the way in which they re­sponded to go­ing be­hind so early in the con­test.

Juan Mata’s shot tested West Ham goal­keeper Dar­ren Ran­dolph and, af­ter claim­ing the equaliser, Ibrahi­movic al­most fin­ished off Mar­cus Rash­ford’s cross at the cul­mi­na­tion of a flow­ing move.

Af­ter Mourinho’s dis­missal, Mata and Ibrahi­movic com­bined for Lin­gard to rush a shot over the bar and, on 36 min­utes, Rash­ford missed the best chance yet of giv­ing his side the lead. Phil Jones’s header put the teenager clean through on goal, but he was de­nied by Ran­dolph’s out­stretched leg.

Pogba and Ibrahi­movic headed wide, the lat­ter had a shot su­perbly blocked by An­gelo Og­bonna and Ran­dolph again did well to dive and turn away a Lin­gard shot just be­fore half-time.

West Ham threat­ened lit­tle af­ter tak­ing the lead, un­til the open­ing ex­changes of the sec­ond half when Payet be­gan to ex­ert some in­flu­ence on pro­ceed­ings.

First, his cor­ner picked out Sakho, who headed onto the roof of David de Gea’s goal.

Then the France in­ter­na­tional al­most scored with an audacious free-kick as he spied De Gea slightly out of po­si­tion and forced the Spa­niard into a bril­liant tip over the United cross­bar. — AFP

MANCH­ESTER: Manch­ester United’s Mat­teo Darmian, top, and West Ham’s Michail An­to­nio bat­tle for the ball dur­ing the English Premier League soc­cer match be­tween Manch­ester United and West Ham United at Old Traf­ford in Manch­ester, Eng­land, yes­ter­day. —AP

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