More than anything else, Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur was met with relief from the club’s fans, players, and their manager Jose Mourinho, as it was just their second win in nine games.
But after the game, Jose Mourinho decided to pick out one player in particular, as he dedicated the win to none other than Marouane Fellaini. The Belgian midfielder has proven to be a divisive figure at Old Trafford ever since he arrived at the club for £28 million ($35.25 million) back in August 2013.
The first signing made in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era at Manchester United, Marouane Fellaini has come to personify the anguish and pain of fans under the reigns of David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, and David Moyes. This has never been more evident than in the match against Everton last Sunday.
Marouane Fellaini was brought on to help Manchester United defend their slender 1-0 advantage over Everton at Goodison Park in the 85th minute. Instead, just two minutes after trudging onto the pitch, Maraoune Fellaini gave away a penalty that Leighton Baines converted, and Manchester United sacrificed two points.
Because of this incident, a small section of Manchester United fans decided to take their frustrations out on the Belgian when he was warming up against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon by booing him. Fellaini eventually emerged in stoppage time of the contest, and despite only having minimal influence on the game, Jose Mourinho still decided to dedicate the win to him.
Jose Mourinho explained to Sky Sports after the match.
“I want to dedicate this victory to Fellaini because he deserves it. In the last match, it was him that was involved in the loss of two points, and that’s why I want to make it clear he is an important player for me.”
When quizzed about the boos that were directed towards Marouane Fellaini by Manchester United fans, Jose Mourinho refused to criticize them for their abuse. Instead, he insisted that they have more than earned the right during the club’s recent poor spell of results to voice their discontent. Mourinho continued.
“The fans can do what they want and they have been phenomenal with us. I just have to thank them for everything they are giving us, especially in the period where we are not giving them too much so I am really happy with them.”
Jose Mourinho echoed these sentiments in the post-match press conference following Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
According to ESPN, Mourinho told the gathered press that he accepted whatever noise emerged from the Old Trafford terraces. Jose Mourinho remarked.
“I had that feeling. I accept it. From the fans, you have to accept everything, especially fans who are giving so much without getting so much back from us — only honesty, professionalism, dedication, but not results they expects from us.”
“They are so supportive to us so they can also be critical. Also, they had the Everton mistake by Marouane in their minds and no more than that. He’s a player and person that I like. And the person is even more important than the player. He’ll have my protection and always my trust.”
Manchester United were able to see off Tottenham Hotspur thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 29th-minute strike that zipped past Hugo Lloris in the opposition goal. Because of this victory, Manchester United are now just three points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth place, while they’re still six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City in their pursuit for the top four. Manchester United will continue on in their quest to catch Manchester City when they face Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
[Featured Image by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]