Jose Mourinho picked out some of the positives from Manchester United’s Premier League defeat against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds suffered only a second loss of the season so far in all competitions as Alvaro Morata’s header separated the sides at Stamford Bridge in the final Premier League game before the ensuing international break.
HOW THE GAME WENT
“I think they scored in the only period they were on top in the game but apart from, that the game was even. The game was controlled by us and the game was controlled by them. We had chances and they had chances and with the first goal they found themselves winning and were able to bring more people to defend but, even so, knowing they can defend with a lot of people. We had a go, we tried to change the direction of our game. We created chances to equalise but we couldn’t.”
COULD WE HAVE DEFENDED BETTER FOR CHELSEA’S GOAL?
“Yes, especially because we spoke during the preparation of the match and we spoke again at half-time. We knew the crosses from the middle positions, crosses from the inside, not crosses from the goalline and we know the movement of the strikers, sometimes in front of the defenders, sometimes behind, so that’s exactly what we were speaking [about] in the dressing room. The first team to score in these games normally wins. We conceded a goal in a situation where we should be in control.”
HAPPY WITH THE CHANCES YOUR TEAM CREATED?
“I don’t know the number, I don’t know the quality. I was on the bench following the game and not counting. I think we had chances. If I remember, [Nemanja] Matic’s header in the face of [Chelsea goalkeeper Thibault] Courtois. If I remember, [Romelu] Lukaku’s shot in the first half and if I remember in the last part of the game, [Marcus] Rashford’s shot and Courtois without any chance. The cross to the far post to [Marouane] Fellaini with the chest and the volley and the consequence of that. We had lots of chances to score a goal.”
THE REACTION WAS TREMENDOUS
“In the beginning of the second half, we made a mistake which hurt us twice, first because it changed the direction of the game and second because [it was] a typical situation that we analyse that we trained and we should control but then the reaction was tremendous. The players had the attitude, the courage, they gave absolutely everything. We clearly deserved a late goal with so much pressure that we put on them. I think we were punished by one mistake and I think we saw two strong teams.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE
“We are second – not fifth, sixth or seventh or eighth. We have 18 teams in a more difficult position than we have. Eight points is eight points. We went through a very difficult phase with probably the most important matches against Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea without important players. I don’t like to speak [about injuries] and it’s not after a defeat that I’m going to speak but it’s obvious that we went through a difficult phase with limitations.”
PRAISE FOR FELLAINI
“I get the chance to not just praise but thank Fellaini for an unbelievable effort he made because he trained with the team only yesterday [Saturday] for the first time and put himself available to try to help the team today. It’s important for me to give him a big word.”