Saturday 15 December 2018

'I was watching the images and Paul and Noble looked in love' - Jose Mourinho plays down Pogba fracas

West Ham United's Mark Noble clashes with Manchester United's Paul Pogba
West Ham United's Mark Noble clashes with Manchester United's Paul Pogba

Mark Mann-Bryans

Jose Mourinho and David Moyes both moved to play down a fracas towards the end of a drab goalless draw between West Ham and Manchester United on Thursday night.

While the point was enough to secure second place in the Premier League for United, the 0-0 stalemate at the London Stadium will not live long in the memory.

A late flashpoint was the main talking point of a forgettable evening as Mark Noble and Paul Pogba clashed following a trip from the Manchester United man.

Hammers skipper Noble reacted angrily, jumping to his feet and placing his hands on Pogba's face, the France international pushing away his midfield counterpart.

The pair were booked by referee Jon Moss, while Luke Shaw and Andy Carroll also squared off against one another.

Red Devils boss Mourinho, who praised the fight and determination shown by his players to secure the point needed to seal second place behind runaway champions Manchester City, looked to the post-match niceties between Noble and Pogba to sum up the earlier incident.

"It was handled well," he said.

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"I was watching the images and Paul and Noble looked in love. Hugs and kisses and changing shirts (at full-time). It was good. It was competitive.

"We needed a point to finish second, they didn't need anything because they did the job last match at Leicester but they played to win.

"The game was competitive. Moss was there, he resolved the problem in a good way because the game was quite intense.

"I was very far from it but when I saw the reaction of the players, I think that was nothing extraordinary."

Moyes, who steered West Ham to safety with a 2-0 win at Leicester on Saturday, echoed the comments of Mourinho and was happy with the performance of his side given they had already assured themselves

of top-flight football next season.

"I've got to say I didn't really make much of it, to be honest," he said.

"I saw that there was a bit going on but the game had never been that kind of game all night and it was a bit out of nowhere. I've not looked at it, I don't even know what happened, who did what.

"Sometimes when you get safe you can slip away from it but the players were at it all night and stuck to it to get a thoroughly deserved point.

"The last two games we have got two good clean sheets. Overall, I am pleased with the players all round. They have done a good job."

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