Mourinho defends Manchester United’s performance

Liverpool, Dec 5 (IANS) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has defended his team’s performance after being held to a draw by Everton FC in an English Premier League (EPL) match at the Goodison Park Stadium here.

United took the lead a couple of minutes before half-time on Sunday evening when star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic lobbed the ball over on-rushing Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

The hosts however, managed to rescue a point right at the end when they were awarded a penalty for Marouane Fellaini’s clumsy challenge on Idrissa Gueye. Leighton Baines stepped up to fire home the penalty and earn a draw for Everton.

It was the sixth draw of the current EPL season for Manchester United which left them struggling at sixth place on the league table with 21 points from 14 matches, just one point ahead of seventh placed West Bromwich Albion.

The former EPL champions trail fifth placed Tottenham Hotspur by six points and are behind current league leaders Chelsea by a whopping 13 points.

A frustrated Mourinho claimed that his opponents were lucky to leave the pitch with a draw.

“It’s another game with a very good performance in a very difficult place to play, in a very emotional stadium, against a team full of good players. So it was a very good performance but a bad result in relation to the performance. We were the best team by far but we didn’t win. We had chances for 2-0, we had the ball against the post and then we lost a goal in the last few minutes. If you come to Goodison Park and you get a point in other circumstances I don’t think it’s a bad result because it’s a difficult place to play, but we were the best team by far so the point is not the point that gives us what we deserve,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by MUTV.

“We are playing very well at home, super-dominant. We are playing very well away with some amazing performances from (Phil) Jones and (Marcos) Rojo, but not getting the results we deserve. When you play bad you can try to play well. When you play well there is nothing more you can do.

“You try to keep playing well. This is what we are doing for a long time, playing well — better than our opponents. Getting draws but deserving victories so our opponents are leaving the stadium super happy with draws they don’t deserve. We cannot do nothing. We go back to work,” he added.

“If you tell me that in any one of our draws, the opponent was closer to winning than us, I will tell you that is completely untrue. In every one of our draws, we were much more closer to winning than the opponent and we deserve to win these matches. I repeat, this season what matters is the results, it’s not the quality of football.”

The 53-year-old, who has guided Chelsea to the EPL title earlier in his career, asserted that he attracts criticism no matter how well his team plays.

“I am concerned because we don’t get the results we deserve. I know that when my teams win matches playing a different style of football then in that moment all that matters is the style of football, not the results. You have in this moment teams in the Premier League playing defensive and counter-attack football but getting results. This season that is phenomenal in your (the media’s) words. When my teams are playing extremely well, the results are more important. So that’s where we are,” Mourinho said.

“But I am happy that my team is playing really well, even in difficult matches like this one. It’s a problem for us that we are not getting what we deserve, and it’s a problem for us that we have a position in the table that has no relation with the quality of football we are showing.”

Mourinho also felt that it is difficult to play against Everton because of their direct style of play.

“It’s impossible or very difficult to control a game for 90 minutes but I would say we controlled it for 80 minutes. It’s normal that an opponent has a reaction and the way they play with long, direct balls, it’s impossible to stop because when a team plays passing football you can press, but when they play long balls you cannot stop the ball in the air. So they would always have a little bit of pressure but that’s normal,” he said.

–IANS

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