Friday 17 November 2017

'Sometimes players disappoint managers' - Jose Mourinho admits to starting line-up error

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a game to forget
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a game to forget

Mark Critchley

Jose Mourinho admitted that he would not have chosen the same starting line-up for Manchester United’s 2-1 derby defat to Manchester City at Old Trafford with the benefit of hindsight.

Kevin de Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho’s first-half goals were enough for Pep Guardiola’s side to take the bragging rights, despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulling one back for the hosts.

Mourinho made two changes to the side which sealed a late victory at Hull a fortnight ago, with Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan starting on the wings.

Both were brought off at half-time with United trailing and speaking after the defeat, Mourinho admitted he should have selected a different line-up.

"I had two or three players in the first half that, if I know what is going to happen, I don't play them. But this is football and sometimes players disappoint managers.

"It's my fault because I'm the manager and it's always my fault because it's my choice.

"I think in the first half they were much better than us. We started the game bad, with some players really below their normal level in terms of their concentration.

"The second half was completely different. We were in control, we were much more dangerous and we had chances to equalise and who knows what would have happened."

The Portuguese also felt a second-half sliding challenge from Claudio Bravo, City’s debutant goalkeeper, on Wayne Rooney in the box warranted a penalty and a red card.

Mourinho said: "We are very disappointed with the result, but I am very disappointed with two decisions of Mark (Clattenburg).

"It was a penalty and a red card for (Claudio) Bravo. For sure outside the box it is a free-kick and a red card. Inside the box it has to be the same, but obviously even the best referees make mistakes."

Independent News Service

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