Mourinho: I don't care what people say

Man United boss in defiant mood when asked about his defensive tactics in 2-1 win over Liverpool

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(Marcus Rashford 14, 24) (Eric Bailly 66-og)

Jose Mourinho slammed criticism of Manchester United’s cautious approach in their 2-1 win over bitter rivals Liverpool on Saturday.

Mourinho’s second-placed side moved five points clear of Liverpool in the English Premier League, thanks to Marcus Rashford’s first-half double at Old Trafford.

Liverpool dominated possession as United sat back for long periods and Eric Bailly’s second-half own goal set up a tense finish.

But United stuck to Mourinho’s conservative game-plan to clinch the points and the Portuguese coach was in typically defiant mood when asked about the defensive tactics.

“If people don’t think we deserved it, I don’t care,” Mourinho said. “I am a bit tired, we have a match on Tuesday (against Sevilla). I don’t care what people say. The boys are happy, I’m happy.”

Mourinho insisted United had been rewarded for taking their chances in the first half and he was happy with the way his players soaked up the pressure after the interval.

“We can split the halves. United first half and Liverpool second but, in my opinion, our first half was a half with goals and danger,” he said.

“In the second half – in my opinion, and probably the people in the studio have a different opinion – was Liverpool controlling with the ball and United controlling without the ball.

“Against Liverpool, if you play bad when you have the ball, you can be in trouble.

“Our team were always in control. Even in set-pieces, corners, dangerous situations, we were in control, so I think we deserved it.”

Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp claimed the key moment was referee Craig Pawson’s failure to award a penalty for United midfielder Marouane Fellaini’s tackle on Sadio Mane in the final 10 minutes.

“It was a clear penalty with Fellaini on Mane, in situations like this you need the right decision,” Klopp said.

While Klopp was frustrated with that decision, he admitted Liverpool had only themselves to blame for poor defending on both of Rashford’s goals.

“We have to defend these situations better. You can always lose a header or a challenge with Romelu Lukaku of course but there is a gap in behind and we need to close that,” he said.

“The two goals made the game not easy, we had a lot of okay moments, two good moments in the first half where we could finish better. It is all about the result and we lost.

“We didn’t score before half-time and then in the second half, we chased the game. It is really difficult to do against a team like Manchester United.” – AFP

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