Football

Mourinho delivers half-time hair dryer

Jose Mourinho admitted he had a few choice words for his Manchester United players at half-time of their 3-2 English Premier League win over Crystal Palace.

He channelled his inner Sir Alex Ferguson and gave his charges the hair-dryer treatment after a lacklustre first half saw them trail 2-0 to goals by Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt at Selhurst Park.

The Red Devils were better after the break, drawing level thanks to goals by Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku, before Nemanja Matic earned United all three points with a lovely strike from outside the box in the first minute of injury time.

Said Mourinho: "The message at half-time? I cannot tell you because you would have lots of (bleeps), but half of it was tactical information."

He took particular umbrage at Palace's second goal, calling his side's role in it disgraceful and childish.

Said the United boss: "David de Gea had to do better with the second goal. He is the best, no doubt, but he had to do better...

"That disgraceful, childish second goal changed everything. But the players kept an amazing attitude.

"Juan Mata was finding spaces inside, Marcus Rashford was open on the left and brought their right-back wide to give us more space in the middle...

"Roy Hodgson deserves credit because his game plan was aggressive and strong. He had an intention, and he knew when he should attack with direct football."

The praise was not enough for Palace boss Hodgson to see another late-goal defeat as anything more than Groundhog Day. He said: "It's been a Groundhog Day moment.

"We once again go away with no points and, like the game against Tottenham, I thought we deserved something."

Football