Saturday 15 December 2018

Mourinho full of praise as United see off ‘brave’ Burnley

Anthony Martial netted the winner with a fine 54th-minute strike.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

By Phil Medlicott, Press Association Sport

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho praised his side for their efforts against a “brave” Burnley outfit after the Red Devils won 1-0 at Turf Moor.

Anthony Martial struck sweetly in the 54th minute of a contest that saw United struggle for attacking momentum for much of the time, with their hosts doing some solid defensive work as well as going close to scoring themselves.

Mourinho, who after the game said he thought Alexis Sanchez completing a move to United from Arsenal was “so close”,  said when asked about his team’s display: “I am pleased.

“It’s a different kind of performance but a performance needed to get a result against a brave team like Burnley.

“We know the way they play, they are better than anyone playing that way, and you need to adapt to it to be successful.

“We adapted well by the defensive point of view. We should have scored a second goal and killed it but we didn’t, and then we put ourselves in a position where we really have to fight until the last second.

The win meant second-placed United kept the pressure up on Premier League leaders Manchester City, closing the gap between them to nine points ahead of the latter’s home clash with Newcastle on Saturday evening.

It was a third successive league victory for Mourinho’s men, and they kept a clean sheet for a fifth consecutive match in all competitions – they are yet to concede a goal in 2018.

When asked about the shut-outs, Mourinho said: “We defended well since the beginning of the season. Normally we don’t concede many goals.

“The team is well organised, the defenders are in form, David (De Gea) today I don’t remember anything important, but he’s also very crucial for us, and we controlled well the game.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche, whose eighth-placed side are now winless in seven league games, went closest when Johann Berg Gudmundsson hit the bar.

Dyche said in his post-match press conference: “I thought the performance was very good. You are playing against one of the top sides in the division and I thought we at least matched them, and at times went beyond them.

“The definitive moment is a fantastic moment of quality and other than that, I thought we gave a very good account of ourselves.

“You can have a tough run like we have had and lots of different margins can define a game – decisions, injuries. But when you perform like that, that is the key – continuing to perform like that.”

Meanwhile, when asked about potentially signing Everton’s Aaron Lennon, Dyche told the BBC: “Aaron Lennon is a possibility, there are a few players we have been linked with so we will see.”

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