Manchester United continue to ‘shoot’ themselves in Premier League – Jose Mourinho
MANCHESTER, England — Jose Mourinho claimed Manchester United continue to “shoot” themselves in their bid to claw their way back into the top four after the draw with Arsenal.
Mourinho’s side put in a much improved performance to earn a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday night but the Portuguese coach insisted his team are not making things easy for themselves after conceding their 24th and 25th goals of the season thanks to mistakes from David De Gea and Marcos Rojo.
“We scored four goals and we drew 2-2, but we score four goals and even in matches like today where we play well we always shoot ourselves,” Mourinho told a news conference.
“Sometimes we miss chances with an open goal, other times it is defensive mistakes, but we had a fantastic spirit and good performances.”
Mourinho, who dropped Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to the bench, was especially pleased with Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly and Diogo Dalot, who started as part of a five-man defence despite making a combined five Premier League starts before kickoff.
“Maybe we feel frustrated with the result, frustrated with some mistakes,” said Mourinho.
“But we have to be happy with the spirit, the effort, the dynamic, the intensity, the understanding of our difficulties.
“Behind was a kid with a first start [Dalot], was Eric [Bailly] — half injured — and without playing for a long time, was [Chris] Smalling injured, I have to say injured, was Marcos Rojo in the first minute of the season, was Darmian with a third start.
“So difficult circumstances and the team as a team had a very good response.”
After appearing to criticise Pogba following the draw at Southampton, Mourinho omitted the Frenchman from his starting XI against Arsenal along with Lukaku.
The Belgian came on to play a part in Jesse Lingard’s equaliser — just seconds after Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal 2-1 up — while Pogba earned praise from his manager for his performance in the last 15 minutes.
“I think Paul played well,” said Mourinho. “The 15 minutes he was on he played well. I think Paul came on and gave a good contribution and brought freshness and power and different qualities to the attacking players.”