Sunday 21 October 2018

Jose Mourinho rejects accusation Man United showed no ambition and points finger at Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Sam Wallace

Jose Mourinho rejected the accusation that his team had shown no ambition to beat their old enemy Liverpool at Anfield by claiming that it was Jurgen Klopp who refused to change his system in the late stages of the two sides’ goalless draw.

The Manchester United manager said that Klopp had brought on three attacking players in the later stages – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge and Dominic Solanke – but without giving up his one-man advantage in midfield.

“He [Klopp] didn’t try anything and he was afraid of our counter attack,” Mourinho said to the BBC. “I had no way to improve my midfield.”

Liverpool enjoyed 62 per cent possession and had the game’s best chance in the first half when David De Gea saved brilliantly from Joel Matip. Klopp also suggested that Romelu Lukaku should have been sent off for an incident involving Dejan Lovren which replays showed was less contentious than the Liverpool manager might have thought.

On United’s approach, Klopp said to Sky Sports: "It's not my right to be frustrated. I'm sure if we would play like this then we could not do it at Liverpool, but obviously in Manchester it's okay. I don't judge this, it's all okay.”

Later he clarified that point in his press conference. “I said it was obvious they made a more defensive approach. That was obvious but that is completely fine so it looked to me that they wanted a point and if they can get three they will take it.”

Mourinho rejected the notion that his team had killed the entertainment factor. “It depends what for you is an entertaining game. One thing is an entertaining game for fans, another thing is entertaining game for the people who read football in a different way. That's different.” He added: “For me the second half was a bit of chess but my opponent didn't open the door for me to win the game.

On a run of just one win in eight games, Klopp said he was satisfied with his players’ reaction. “I am really happy that the boys were ready for it - you cannot take it for granted that they are still confident. I told the boys after the game, we decided to take the hard way when we joined Liverpool. We obviously can’t win something in a holiday mood [easily].”

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