Pen­i­tent Mour­inho hum­bled by Man Utd sup­port

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

JOSE MOUR­INHO lauded Manch­ester United’s sup­port­ers af­ter his team put the dis­ap­point­ment of their 4-0 hu­mil­i­a­tion at Chelsea be­hind them to sink Manch­ester City in Eng­land’s League Cup.

Sun­day’s de­feat at Chelsea, Mour­inho’s for­mer club, was United’s worst in the league for five years, but they bounced back to beat hold­ers City 1-0 yes­ter­day cour­tesy of Juan Mata’s 54th-minute goal.

Mour­inho made a ges­ture of apol­ogy to United’s fans at the end – mak­ing a ‘4-0’ sym­bol with his fingers and low­er­ing his head – and said he had been moved by their back­ing.

“We were on a good run of re­sults, but it was a big de­feat,” said the United man­ager, whose side had gone six games un­beaten prior to com­ing off the rails at Stam­ford Bridge.

“(They are) num­bers that the his­tory of this club doesn’t de­serve and when I’m in a club my heart be­longs to the fans and I felt deeply for them. The re­al­ity is that I never had peo­ple like these ones.

“We lost 4-0 and they were sup­port­ive. To­day the sta­dium was full of real sup­port and it looks like the love peo­ple have for the club is bigger than bad re­sults, bigger than three bad sea­sons.

“We must give some­thing back. The play­ers gave ev­ery­thing, but even if we’d lost the feel­ing was fan­tas­tic be­cause the play­ers showed they re­ally care and they fought for the fans.”

Mour­inho spoke to tele­vi­sion re­porters af­ter the game at Old Traf­ford, but did not ap­pear at his post-match press con­fer­ence. United did not of­fer an ex­pla­na­tion.

While Mour­inho made just four changes to his start­ing XI, his op­po­site num­ber, Pep Guardiola, made nine.

Both teams dis­ap­pointed in a drab first half, but it was United who seized the ad­van­tage af­ter the break, with Mata sweep­ing home Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic’s low cross af­ter Paul Pogba had hit the post.

City cap­tain Vin­cent Kom­pany, one of only two play­ers to keep his place from Sun­day’s 1-1 draw against Southamp­ton, was sub­sti­tuted at half­time.

The Bel­gian cen­tre­back has been dogged by in­juries in re­cent sea­sons and Guardiola said he had not felt able to play on.

“He told us he is tired and not ready to play the sec­ond half,” ex­plained Guardiola, whose side beat Liver­pool on penal­ties in last sea­son’s fi­nal prior to his ar­rival.

“The im­por­tant thing is af­ter two years (re­peat­edly) in­jured, he played three days ago 70 min­utes, to­day 45 and no in­juries. That is a good step, the first step. Af­ter we have to see. He felt not good, know­ing what hap­pened in the past.”

Guardiola has now gone six games with­out vic­tory for the first time in his man­age­rial ca­reer, but he said he had “no re­grets” about se­lect­ing a weak­ened team.

“Some­times it hap­pens in foot­ball the man­agers doesn’t win,” he said. “It is the first time. OK, hope­fully it does not hap­pen again, but it is part of our pro­fes­sion. Some­times you win and some­times you lose.”

Asked if he had learnt any­thing dur­ing his team’s slump, he replied: “The same as when we won 10 games in a row (at the start of the sea­son).

“Ev­ery match is dif­fer­ent. I need to anal­yse them all. Ev­ery team has streaks of good re­sults and bad re­sults. The strange thing is af­ter seven years as a man­ager, it hap­pens now.

“But we are still get­ting to know each other, still im­prov­ing and we will (im­prove).”

United will host West Ham United in the quar­ter­fi­nals. – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.