Sunday 18 February 2018

Mourinho launches tirade after Hull put up shutters

Man Utd 0-0 Hull City

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho reacts after the final whistle. Photo: PA
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho reacts after the final whistle. Photo: PA

Tim Rich

Frustrated beyond measure by more dropped points against the kind of team Manchester United once overcame without thinking, Jose Mourinho demanded that he receive the same treatment as other managers.

After a goalless draw against Hull - who have not won at Old Trafford since 1952 - United find themselves still stuck in sixth place, four points behind Manchester City in fifth. Having seen Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all drop points on Tuesday night, Mourinho knew another opportunity to close the gap had been squandered.

Afterwards, the United manager was asked whether he thought Hull striker Oumar Niasse, who had already been booked, should have been sent off for a rash tackle on Daley Blind.

To Mourinho, this injustice ranked alongside the failure to award a handball against Erik Pieters in last month's 1-1 draw at Stoke and the failure to award a penalty for Claudio Bravo's foul on Wayne Rooney in the Manchester derby.

"I don't know why you ask me these kind of questions," Mourinho said. "If I were in your place, I wouldn't ask the manager, I would just write what was my opinion. Just write what is happening in almost every game with us.


"I don't want to speak more about refereeing decisions because, I repeat, if I were in your place. . . maybe your industry is going in another direction, I don't know, but for me journalism is to tell the truth.

"Tell the truth. You simply have to tell the truth and, if you go to game after game with Manchester United and you see what happened here with Manchester City, what happened here with Burnley, what happened here with West Ham, what happened at Stoke, what happened almost everywhere, you do your job and you do a public service.

"Tell the truth, it is as simple as that. If telling the truth is also saying that Manchester United in the first half didn't play well, then so be it. We should play better in the first half, so tell the truth."

Mourinho then compared his treatment with that of Jurgen Klopp. After Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Chelsea, the Liverpool manager revealed that the fourth official, Neil Swarbrick, had told him that "he liked his passion".

As Mourinho lost his temper during the stalemate, he said the fourth official had threatened to send him off.

"The rules for me are different," he said. "They are different in everything. I have to watch my team play in a hotel, I was forbidden to go to the stadium, my assistant had a six-match stadium ban and he didn't touch anyone (during Chelsea's game against Sunderland in 2014). Yesterday, one fourth official said to a manager (Klopp) 'I enjoy your passion'. Today I was told to sit down or they would send me to the stands.

"Everything is different for me so don't ask me difficult questions. I just want to say 0-0 is a great point for Hull. Congratulations. Bad point for us."

Mourinho ended his BBC interview with the phrase: "If you do not know football, you shouldn't have a microphone in your hand."

Before the game he had said that this was the game which United could scarcely afford not to win if they were to remain competitive in the hunt for the Champions League place.

It turned into the high-octane pursuit of a winner by the end of the game but for long periods this was terminally flat, a United team fended off quite comfortably by the well-drilled visitors whose new manager Marco Silva really has worked wonders.

Having beaten United in the League Cup semi-final second leg, relegation-threatened Hull seemed to have the measure of a team who have drawn their last three league games.

United are losing their way at this critical part of the season, and the football itself can be uninspiring, leaving aside the crescendo of chances at the end as they threw everything in the push for a winner.

Indeed, the best chance of a winner fell to Hull's on-loan winger Lazar Markovic who struck the post with four minutes left after Tom Huddlestone had picked him out.

United's problem in the first half was that for all the possession they enjoyed, they lacked intensity, with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggling to get behind the Hull defence in the first half.

Paul Pogba squandered the best opportunity of a forgettable opening half. Mourinho brought on Wayne Rooney in place of Michael Carrick at half-time, and things improved, but not enough.

Independent News Service

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