Mour­inho: We must not keep shoot­ing our­selves in the foot

Man­ager rues United’s cat­a­logue of mis­takes Emery fears Hold­ing faces long in­jury lay-off

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport / Premier League - By James Ducker at Old Traf­ford

Jose Mour­inho has warned his Manch­ester United play­ers that they can­not keep “shoot­ing them­selves in the foot” af­ter rue­ing his side’s mis­takes on a chaotic night against Arse­nal at Old Traf­ford.

As ri­val man­ager Unai Emery ex­pressed con­cern that de­fender Rob Hold­ing could face a lengthy lay-off with a se­ri­ous knee in­jury and sug­gested ref An­dre Mar­riner may have made a mis­take by fail­ing to send off United’s Mar­cos Rojo for a lunge on Mat­teo Guen­douzi, Mour­inho be­moaned his side’s care­less­ness while prais­ing their spirit for twice com­ing from be­hind.

A rare blun­der from goal­keeper David De Gea gifted Arse­nal their first goal be­fore a mis­take from Rojo cul­mi­nated in the de­fender scor­ing an own goal as Arse­nal re­stored their lead against a se­verely patched up United back line that Mour­inho claimed was “dead” by the end of the game.

United have now taken just three points from the past 12 avail­able in the Premier League and now sit

eighth in the ta­ble, be­hind Bournemouth on goal dif­fer­ence.

“We scored four goals and we drew 2-2 but we score four goals and, even in matches like to­day where we play well, we al­ways shoot our­selves [in the foot]. Some­times we miss chances with open goals, other times de­fen­sive mis­takes but a fan­tas­tic spirit and good per­for­mances,” said Mour­inho.

Asked if he felt “un­der siege” at the mo­ment, the United man­ager added: “Not un­der siege, not at all. I feel that is a mo­ment where we play against the team that is at the top of their sea­son, a mo­ment where ev­ery­thing goes well for them, that’s clearly a team on a high against a team with many prob­lems and, on the top of these prob­lems, dur­ing foot­ball matches we shoot our­selves [in the foot].

“We had a very, very good start, every­body was ex­pect­ing a good start but we score and 1-0 to them. In the sec­ond half in the best mo­ment where Arse­nal was try­ing to stop the game, get one in­jury here and there and they were try­ing to re­duce the in­ten­sity of the game, we scored the sec­ond goal for them and then it is 2-1.

“But the re­al­ity is in the last four matches we didn’t lose. Bad re­sults apart from Young Boys, the three draws were three bad re­sults and be­fore that we lost against Manch­ester City but every­body loses [to City], not just us. And then be­fore that we had a pe­riod where we were play­ing in our lim­its, which is some­times what peo­ple don’t un­der­stand.

“Our prob­lem is a per­for­mance like this without the mis­takes we made. We had good per­for­mances where we make mis­takes and we are al­ways pun­ished.”

Emery was re­luc­tant to blame Mar­riner for fail­ing to send off Rojo. “I don’t know, it’s dif­fi­cult for the ref­er­ees, they’ve a lot of per­son­al­ity, they can some­times do mis­takes,” the Arse­nal man­ager said.

Emery said his side looked like the more likely win­ners and praised his play­ers’ ef­forts af­ter a gru­elling derby against Spurs but his more im­me­di­ate con­cern was over the fit­ness of Hold­ing, who was car­ried in the first half af­ter be­ing caught by Mar­cus Rash­ford. “We have to wait but maybe it’s a big in­jury. It’s his knee,” said Emery, who was con­fi­dent an­other in­jury to Aaron Ram­sey was not se­ri­ous.

Line call: An­der Her­rera is un­able to pre­vent Arse­nal’s open­ing goal af­ter David De Gea’s blun­der

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