Tuesday 25 October 2016

Jose Mourinho takes cheeky snipe at 'defensive' Liverpool

Published 19/10/2016 | 14:56

Jose Mourinho, pictured, has been asked to explain his comments about referee Anthony Taylor
Jose Mourinho, pictured, has been asked to explain his comments about referee Anthony Taylor

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has sarcastically taunted Liverpool by suggesting Jurgen Klopp’s side did not get enough credit for their ‘defensive’ performance in Monday night’s dour 0-0 draw at Anfield.

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Mourinho’s negative tactics that helped his side to secure a point have been analysed in great detail in the days since the game, yet it was a cheeky Mourinho who suggested the media coverage has been unfair on a Liverpool side that deserved more credit after their first clean sheet of the season.

“I think you are very fair with Liverpool because Liverpool had a fantastic defensive performance,” said Mourinho, clearly with a hint of sarcasm in his response.

“For the first time they played with two defensive midfielders. For the first time they played with (Jordan) Henderson and (Emre) Can together.

“For the first time, they took a striker off to play another midfield player and you are very unfair with them. The 0-0 result was because two teams were really good defensively.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted. We wanted to win and we only got a point so we were not 100% successful.”

While the straight-faced Mourinho did not deliver his words with a smile in his pre-match press conference against of Thursday night’s game against Fenerbahce at Old Trafford, those in the room appreciated this was a manager speaking with a devious tone in his voice.

The debate over the merits of Mourinho’s defensive set-up at Anfield will continue ahead of his return to face his old club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but he was in buoyant mood ahead of the Fenerbahce game.

Mourinho confirmed that Luke Shaw would return to his line-up for the game against their Turkish rivals, but he would not reveal whether captain Wayne Rooney was in line to make a start.

“Wayne is working well,” added Mourinho. “He is one of the big reasons for the atmosphere that the players can breath because he is positive, he is a good example. We count on his to start or be on the bench, but he will be there tomorrow.”

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