Monday 16 September 2019

Jose Mourinho and Marouane Fellaini react as Manchester United stumble to victory against Young Boys

Manchester United 1 Young Boys 0

Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United and Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United embrace after the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Manchester United and BSC Young Boys at Old Trafford on November 27, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United and Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United embrace after the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Manchester United and BSC Young Boys at Old Trafford on November 27, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jose Mourinho tried to find positives in his side's disappointing performances as a last gasp Marouane Fellaini goal eased Manchester United into the last 16 of the Champions League.

With Juventus beating Valencia in the other Group H match, United knew victory against the Swiss champions - a side they beat 3-0 in Switzerland - would have secured progress with a match to spare.

Yet they produced another lacklustre performance and Mourinho was forced to concede his side need to do better.

"It is a very difficult group and to qualify with a game to spare is good. The performance had a lot of good things and a lot of disappointing things too," he conceded.

"We lost too many chances, crucial ones in crucial moments. This is the kind of game if you score in the first minute you normally go for a different performance. You could pay with a draw and with a defeat too. David de Gea only had one save but it looks a phenomenal save, a save that best goalkeeper in the world does and gives his team the possibility to win the match.

"We had more than one chance, we had a lot of half chances. It is not about blaming one player who missed a chance at the beginning of the game.

"Goals win games. I am happy with Marcus Rashford's intensity, the way we started and the intention we showed but then it is not easy to cope with the frustration and result that does not suit us."

KEVIN6.jpg
Jose Mourinho reacts during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Manchester United and Young Boys at Old Trafford (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

He then decided to remind his audience of his record in the Champions League, in comments that may not go down well with the club's supporters.

"The most important thing is to qualify and for some of my lovers, and those that like stats, I am 14 seasons in the Champions League and 14 times my teams have qualified through to the group stages," he said. "The season I was not in the Champions League, I won the Europa League."

Mourinho kicked a water bottle carrier and threw another into the ground in celebration at a goal that means they head to Valencia next month with progress assured after the Spaniards lost at Juventus on Tuesday.

"Relief," Mourinho said of his celebrations. "Frustration before that and relief with the goal.

"I think we didn't play for that, we didn't play for 0-0. We didn't play to be in trouble until the last minute, so frustration.

"I was not unhappy with the players. Not at all.

"Frustrated with the fact that we couldn't score, yes, but my players were very tired at the end and that's what I love - I want them to be very tired.

"It means that they give everything, and they did that, with moments of very good football, moments of quality, moments of hypothetical beautiful goals and then also with moments of pressure, moments of lack of confidence, that frustrate us, but, in the end, we score.

"I have to reunite the goal we scored with David De Gea's save. I think without David's save, no winning goal.

"But, in the end, we qualify in a very difficult group with one match in hand, suffering a lot, but we did it."

Mourinho bristled when quizzed about that selection before kick-off and pointed to onlookers "always asking" him to play Marcus Rashford - a player who missed a fine chance in the opening minutes and numerous more over the course of the night.

The United manager's exasperation was clear and only increased as the match wore on, with Fellaini eventually securing a late win much to the relief of his manager and the Old Trafford faithful.

"It was the right moment to score a goal. The spirit was good. We played positive and that was most important," said Fellaini.

"It's good for confidence to qualify. Next is Southampton and we have to be ready."

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