Sunday Times

United buy Jose valu­able time with come­back

- Sports · Soccer · Manchester United F.C. · José Mourinho · Manchester · Newcastle United Football Club · Tottenham Hotspur Football Club · Paul Pogba · Belgium · Austria · Old Trafford · Chile · Belarus · Juan Manuel Mata · Anthony Martial · Kenedy · Marouane Fellaini · Wembley · FC Barcelona · Barcelona · Lionel Messi · Mauricio Pochettino · Cardiff · Eric Dier · England national football team · England · Iceland · Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. · Crystal Palace F.C. · The Crystal Palace · Everton F.C. · Everton · Leicester City F.C. · Leicester · A.F.C. Bournemouth · Watford F.C. · Watford · Burnley F.C. · Huddersfield Town F.C. · Huddersfield · Alexis Sánchez · Ashley Young · Eric Bailly · Scott McTominay · Lucas Moura · Harry Kane · Bournemouth · Burnley · Yoshinori Muto

● Jose Mour­inho was given a stay of ex­e­cu­tion as Manch­ester United staged a stir­ring fight­back to beat New­cas­tle 3-2 thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s last-gasp win­ner, while Tot­ten­ham re­cov­ered from their Euro­pean mis­ery with a 1-0 vic­tory over Cardiff yes­ter­day.

Mour­inho had presided over United’s worst seven-game start to a sea­son for 29 years amid the break­down of his re­la­tion­ship with star mid­fielder Paul Pogba and sev­eral other key play­ers.

A re­port on Fri­day evening claimed United’s hi­er­ar­chy had lost pa­tience with the toxic at­mos­phere and would sack Mour­inho re­gard­less of the New­cas­tle re­sult.

But se­nior United sources strongly de­nied the sug­ges­tion Mour­inho would be dis­missed this week­end, in­sist­ing he re­tains the board’s sup­port fol­low­ing a se­ries of abysmal re­sults.

Despite that vote of con­fi­dence, it was look­ing bleak for Mour­inho when win­less New­cas­tle raced into a two-goal lead in the first 10 min­utes at Old Traf­ford.

But United clicked into gear and Chile for­ward Sanchez, who had been dropped by Mour­inho, came off the bench to bag the win­ner af­ter goals from Juan Mata and An­thony Mar­tial dragged the hosts level.

United’s first win in five games in all com­pe­ti­tions could buy Mour­inho some much-needed breath­ing space head­ing into the in­ter­na­tional break.

Mour­inho was in typ­i­cally com­bat­ive mood when he walked to the bench be­fore kick-off, squirt­ing a tele­vi­sion cam­era with a wa­ter bot­tle, and within seven min­utes the mood turned even more frac­tious.

United fell be­hind when Kenedy parted Mour­inho’s de­fence with alarm­ing ease, run­ning onto Ay­oze Perez’s pass and turn­ing away from Ash­ley Young be­fore fir­ing home as Mour­inho ges­tured fu­ri­ously on the touch­line.

There was worse to come for Mour­inho three min­utes later as New­cas­tle pun­ished more sham­bolic de­fend­ing, Young and his team­mates fail­ing to get in a chal­lenge as Ja­panese for­ward Yoshi­nori Muto scored on his first Premier League start.

Rafael Ben­itez’s side were the first vis­it­ing team ever to score two goals in the first 10 min­utes of a Premier League game at Old Traf­ford.

Mour­inho re­sponded by mak­ing a bizarre 19th minute sub­sti­tu­tion as he hauled off de­fender Eric Bailly — one of the group said to be un­happy with the man­ager — and sent on Mata, once again mov­ing young mid­fielder Scott McTom­i­nay to play at cen­tre­back.

Jeers rang around Old Traf­ford at half­time and Mour­inho, look­ing in­creas­ingly des­per­ate, made more changes at the in­ter­val with Marouane Fel­laini sent on for McTom­i­nay.

United fi­nally re­sponded to Mour­inho in the sec­ond half, play­ing with far more pas­sion as Mata re­duced the deficit with a fine 70th minute free kick be­fore Mar­tial fired in the equaliser six min­utes later.

That set the stage for Sanchez to ap­ply the fin­ish­ing touch in the 90th minute as Mour­inho cel­e­brated while his name was sung by re­lieved United fans at full­time.

Spurs put Messi out of mind

At Wem­b­ley, Tot­ten­ham re­cov­ered from Wed­nes­day’s dam­ag­ing 4-2 Cham­pi­ons League loss to Barcelona.

Lionel Messi had tor­mented Tot­ten­ham with a mes­meris­ing dis­play, capped by two goals, that left the north Lon­don­ers in dan­ger of miss­ing the knock­out stage.

But Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s side made amends against Cardiff to move into third place in the ta­ble.

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock joked he would play 10 de­fend­ers in a bid to sti­fle Tot­ten­ham and he might have re­gret­ted not do­ing ex­actly that as the hosts went in front af­ter eight min­utes.

Davin­son Sanchez saw his header blocked by Joe Ben­nett and the ball fell right into the path of Eric Dier, who swept home from close range for his first club goal since April 2017.

Cardiff were re­duced to 10 men when Joe Ralls was sent off for chop­ping down Lu­cas Moura in the 58th minute, with Warnock in­censed af­ter Tot­ten­ham’s play­ers, in­clud­ing Eng­land cap­tain Harry Kane, sur­rounded the ref­eree to de­mand a red card.

“I don’t think it helped be­ing sur­rounded by 15 white shirts. I don’t think he (Kane) needs to do that,” Warnock moaned.

“Af­ter Barcelona on Wed­nes­day, the most im­por­tant thing was to win. We cre­ated a lot of chances but we didn’t kill the game,” Po­chet­tino said.

“It was a clear red card from my point of view. Neil Warnock can com­plain but it is not my busi­ness.” Else­where, Wolves won 10 at Crys­tal Palace, Ever­ton beat Le­ices­ter 21, Bournemout­h routed Wat­ford 4-0 and Burn­ley drew 1-1 with Hud­der­s­field.

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