Mourinho vents his anger after fans jeer Rashford exit
Jose Mourinho turned on Manchester United fans who booed his decision to substitute Marcus Rashford, the striker replaced by the match-winning goal scorer Anthony Martial, who gave his side a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.
There were boos around Old Trafford when Rashford was called to the touchline on 70 minutes but Mourinho was vindicated when the Frenchman finished Romelu Lukaku’s flick-on for the only goal of the game. The United manager put his finger to his lips and shushed the supporters into the lens of the Sky Sport cameras at the final whistle and later followed that gesture with criticism in his post-match interviews.
“I really don’t understand some reactions why,” he said to Sky Sports. “Are they [the fans] Red Devils? Sometimes I don’t know because they [Lukaku and Martial] work amazingly well. Today there were two strikers playing together against three top central defenders – the best we have in Europe – and their work was amazing. He scored with a bad shot but a bad shot sometimes can be a beautiful one.
Mourinho said earlier: “Sometimes he [Martial] starts the match and his
contribution is good. Maybe he is not scoring as many times as he does coming from the bench but he is playing well, the same as Rashford, the same as Lukaku. I really don’t understand some reactions why.”
The discontent from the United fans seemed to be more about the substitution of Rashford, who had looked a key attacking threat until then.
In his post-match press conference, Mourinho again criticised the supporters’ reaction.
“Some people speak too much,” he said. “Calm down, relax a little bit. Don’t speak too much – speak, speak, speak – relax. Relax a little bit, don’t be so nervous. Don’t be so excited.”
Mauricio Pochettino said that his team had missed the injured Harry Kane, but that it could not be an excuse for losing a game in which they had 55
per cent possession and 13 attempts on goal to United’s 11. He said: “We are very disappointed. It is very painful for our players, for everyone. It was an even match – to lose with an action that should have been fixed [dealt with] before is very painful.
“But that is football, and for me I feel very proud, the effort was fantastic. The performance always could have been better but we competed and fought a lot. We are disappointed but now we keep going, move on and prepare our next game.
“They didn’t create too many chance against us. I feel we were at that same level. It was a game that was very competitive and you feel in the second half, the last 15 or 20 minutes, it would be a draw and only a genius play or a mistake would change the game. We made a mistake. We could have been talking in a different way if Dele Alli scored [in the 77th minute] as it was a clear chance but unlucky for us. The luck for them meant we lost the game.”
Martial, who scored his fourth league goal of the season, said that he wanted to regain his place in the side. “The manager told me to find space. I know that Lukaku is good with his head and I found the space and scored. It was important for us to win. I want to play. I don’t want to be on the bench. Rashford has been good, too, and the manager wants to give us a chance.”
‘I want to start games. I don’t want to be on the bench’
Call for silence: Jose Mourinho sends a message at the final whistle after the defeat of Tottenham