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FA ask Mourinho to explain ref comments


United boss Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA

United boss Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA

United boss Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been contacted by the English Football Association for his observations on his comments about referee Anthony Taylor prior to the goalless draw at Liverpool.

On Friday Mourinho was asked about Altrincham-based Taylor being given the game after Keith Hackett, the former head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited body, claimed the appointment would place undue pressure on the official.

"I think Mr Taylor is a very good referee but I think somebody with intention is putting such a pressure on him that I feel that it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance,'' Mourinho said.

New rules were introduced in 2009 in an attempt to crack down on pre-match comments about officials which could be viewed as intimidatory or influential.

In its statement at the time, the FA said: "Clubs are being advised that any media comments by managers, players or any other club officials relating to appointed match officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed - such pre-match comments will be deemed improper and dealt with accordingly.''

The English FA, having considered his comments, has now asked the United boss for his thoughts as the next part of the process. The Portuguese has until the close of business on Friday to respond.


After Monday night's goalless draw Mourinho praised Taylor's performance.

"Can I speak about the referee without being punished?" he asked the club's press officer.

After being given the go-ahead he added: "He had a good game and I am happy for him because people with responsibilities put a lot of pressure on him and it was very difficult for him to have a good performance, which he had."

Meanwhile, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius believes Liverpool's growing reputation under Jurgen Klopp explains why United played so defensively against them.

"They know we're a really strong team, so that's a compliment for us," said the German, who kept his first clean sheet since taking over from Simon Mignolet despite a couple of shaky moments personally.

"United maybe waited for the one chance to get a goal, as obviously their priority was to stop our play, our attacks.

"We knew we had to be patient because it was going to be tough."

Midfielder Emre Can, making his first Premier League start of the season, said: "I think we deserved to win the game because we had the better chances and played better. It wasn't our best game but we played better than Manchester United."