Jose Mourinho launched an impassioned defense of his Manchester United team after their draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Leighton Baines’ 89th-minute penalty saw the home side steal a point, which means that Manchester United are now 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea.
But Jose Mourinho was adamant that Manchester United were in a false position, insisting that their performances in recent weeks have been of a high caliber than their results would suggest. United have drawn four home matches on the trot that they’ve dominated, sacrificing eight points that would now see them just a point off the top four, and five behind Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports this via ESPN.
“When my teams win matches playing a different style then the style matters, not results. Now [other] teams are playing defensive and getting results and are praised. When my team plays extremely well, results are more important. But I am happy my team is playing really well. We have a position in the table [sixth] that has no relation to our football.”
The Manchester United manager, who replaced Louis Van Gaal in the job back in the summer echoed these sentiments during the press conference following the match, too. Mourinho continued.
“When my teams are playing pragmatic football and winning matches and winning titles you say that is not nice and not right. Then my team play very well — and it is a huge change to the last two or three years [at United] — and now you say what matters is to get the result no matter what.”
Jose Mourinho’s side have been on a tepid run of results after winning their opening their opening three games of the season. Since then, United have won just two games, drawn six, and lost three in 11 encounters, which also leaves them nine points adrift of the Champions League spots.
To make matters worse for Jose Mourinho, it was his substitute, Maraoune Fellaini, who was directly responsible for Everton’s equalizer. Brought on in the 87th minute to add some height to the Manchester United team that were coming under an increasing barrage of Everton attacks, the Belgian midfielder had only been on the field for two minutes when referee Michael Oliver insisted that he had fouled Idriss Gueye.
There was little complaint from Manchester United fans, as Fellaini clumsily felled his counterpart, which then gave Leighton Baines the opportunity to bring Everton level. The left-back made no mistake, converting to leave Mourinho and Manchester United confounded that they’d now drawn their third Premier League match on the trot.
Just before Fellaini’s foul and Baines’ drilled penalty kick past the despairing David De Gea, Manchester United looked like they were going to claim all three points courtesy of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal in the 42nd minute. This was the Swedish forward’s sixth strike in five games, and it was a peculiar effort.
The 35-year-old was able to lob the ball over the onrushing Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who had needlessly run out of his goal to try and narrow down the angle. He didn’t come anywhere near to doing so, and instead, Ibrahimovic had enough time to half-volley it over the keeper, with the ball hitting the bar and the post before it just rolled enough over the line.
In the second half both Manchester United and Everton failed to generate a rhythm in the game. United will feel disappointed that Ander Herrera wasn’t able to convert his chance, which instead just smashed off the frame of the goal, while Everton’s Kevin Mirallas, Gueye, and Enner Valencia had opportunities that De Gea repelled.
But Leighton Baines’ finish gave a dogged Everton, who had improved as the game went on, a point, and at the same time it left Manchester United’s title and top four pursuits in tatters.
[Featured Image by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]