Jose has rea­son for cheer at long last

United beat Ful­ham 4-1

Sport360 - - Front Page - By Ian Parker @iparkys­port ✉ ed­i­to­[email protected]

Jose Mour­inho joked a lack of bot­tled wa­ter at Old Traf­ford must mean Manch­ester United are sav­ing money for the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow, but Satur­day’s com­fort­able win over Ful­ham sug­gested his squad might not need such rad­i­cal surgery as pre­vi­ously thought.

For once United did not need to fall be­hind be­fore tak­ing con­trol, get­ting goals from Ash­ley Young, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku – his first at Old Traf­ford since March – be­fore the break.

Ful­ham got back in it via Aboubakar Ka­mara’s penalty early in the sec­ond half, but An­dre-Frank Zambo An­guissa saw red for a sec­ond book­able of­fence soon af­ter and Mar­cus Rash­ford fin­ished Clau­dio Ranieri’s side off with a scorch­ing shot out of noth­ing – his first home goal of the sea­son.

Mour­inho was unim­pressed by a lack of wa­ter when he ar­rived for his post-match press con­fer­ence – “Are we sav­ing money for Jan­uary?” he asked – but not much else about the af­ter­noon irked him.

“The first half was re­ally, re­ally good at ev­ery level,” said Mour­inho. “The sec­ond half, as I told the press, Ranieri has good ex­pe­ri­ence. He read the game, un­der­stood the game and changed the game for the bet­ter for them. It was more dif­fi­cult for us.

“Also there was some fa­tigue which is un­der­stand­able...but it was a good re­sult, a good per­for­mance and good in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances. Lukaku and Rash­ford had no goals for a while, so their goals mean some­thing for them too. I’m re­ally happy.”

All of this hap­pened with Paul Pogba once again left on the bench. Mour­inho said the France mid­fielder would start against Va­len­cia in the Cham­pi­ons League on Tues­day, but still had a message for his strug­gling star.

“He has to play with the same men­tal­ity as the team is play­ing,” Mour­inho said when asked what he needed to do to get back in the side.

“Paul can be a fan­tas­tic player, he has the po­ten­tial to be a fan­tas­tic player. Against Va­len­cia he is go­ing to start and have a fan­tas­tic foot­ball game to play and to show every­body how good he is.”

That sug­gests Mour­inho wants Pogba to learn lessons from the per­for­mances of Ne­manja Matic and An­der Her­rera.

“You have teams that are po­si­tion­ally good, ready to press, and with a de­sire to press, and I think these two boys – Matic and Her­rera – have a re­ally strong men­tal­ity,” Mour­inho said. “The way they play foot­ball is to play at their top of their level and then the peo­ple in front of them were also good.”

One of the most im­pres­sive per­for­mances of the day be­longed to Diogo Dalot, mak­ing only his sec­ond Pre­mier League start. The 19-year-old sent in a string of dan­ger­ous crosses while also keep­ing Ful­ham’s An­dre Schur­rle quiet.

“He has a lot to learn, he’s 19, but phys­i­cally he’s com­pact, he’s tech­ni­cally very good and he’s a happy boy when he’s play­ing foot­ball,” Mour­inho said of the right-back. “He goes for­ward all the time with good qual­ity of cross­ing.

“We are very happy. Now it’s De­cem­ber he’s go­ing to get ex­pe­ri­ence and be what we thought when we bought him, which is the Manch­ester United right-back for 10 years.”

“He has to play with the same men­tal­ity as the team is play­ing” – Mour­inho

Red re­demp­tion: Mata, Lukaku and Rash­ford were all on the score­sheet.

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