New Straits Times
FROM ‘DISGRACEFUL’ TO ‘AMAZING’
Mourinho’s halftime rant rallies United to narrowly beat spirited Palace
MANCHESTER United recovered from a disorganised start to snatch a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace on Monday in a match described as amazing by manager Jose Mourinho, whose side recovered after conceding a “disgraceful, childish” second goal.
“I don’t like my teams to lose their organisation like we did, but it was an amazing match and a very important win for us,” said the Portuguese after a stunning added time Nemanja Matic strike allowed United to snatch all three points.
The Serbia international’s first goal for United was hard on a Palace side who had a two-goal lead through Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt, only for Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku, with his 99th Premier League goal, to peg them back.
“Their (Palace’s) second goal made things difficult for us but Chris Smalling’s goal was very important,” said Mourinho.
“I always believe we can win. I will be like that until my last day. Some days more than others, but after Smalling’s goal, I always thought it was possible.”
Roy Hodgson’s Palace were flying when Dutchman Van Aanholt took advantage of Jeffrey Schlupp’s quick free kick to put the home side 2-0 ahead three minutes into the second half, leaving an incensed Mourinho raging at his side’s sloppy defending.
“If we didn’t concede that second goal and we came from the dressing room direct to change the result I would say I did something good at halftime,” he said.
“But with that disgraceful, childish (goal) — you can find so many adjectives for that second goal... everything changed but the players kept an amazing attitude.
“But I have to say Roy had an amazing game plan, really aggressive... sometimes the winner is the one that deserves congratulations but I think many times on the loser’s side I did many things right, and I think Roy did everything right.”
The win took United back up to second place, while defeat for Palace left them in the relegation zone and Hodgson feeling they had been just as hard done by as they were in last month’s 10 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.
“It’s been a Groundhog Day moment,” said Hodgson.
“We once again go away with no points and, like the game against Tottenham, I thought we deserved something.
“We took the game to United. If we had drawn the game, I don’t think anyone — Jose included — would have said it was a scandal.”