Thursday 23 November 2017

We didn't lose, insists defiant Mourinho

Defeat can't spoil United manager's birthday despite controversial penalty

Jose Mourinho celebrates his birthday aboard the Manchester United team bus in a tweet posted by Phil Neville
Jose Mourinho celebrates his birthday aboard the Manchester United team bus in a tweet posted by Phil Neville

James Ducker

Jose Mourinho refused to accept Manchester United's unbeaten run was over last night after struggling to contain his fury at referee Jonathan Moss awarding Hull City a controversial penalty.

United booked their place in the EFL Cup final against Southampton, despite Hull ending their 17-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win at the KCOM Stadium.

But Mourinho claimed his side did not lose after being infuriated that Marcos Rojo was penalised for a push on Harry Maguire.

Tom Huddlestone converted the penalty and then escaped conceding a spot-kick after a challenge on Chris Smalling.

"I think 18 matches unbeaten is amazing," the United manager said. "We didn't lose. It was 1-1. I only saw two goals. I saw Paul Pogba's goal and their (second) goal (by Oumar Niasse) was a fantastic goal, a great action. It was a great cross, and the guy coming in at the far post. 1-1."

Asked why he did not count Hull's first goal, Mourinho said: "I didn't see. The message for the players is to celebrate, we are in the final, we played against a good team, a very improved team.

"I told you in the beginning, and you maybe didn't believe me, this boy (Marco Silva, the Hull manager) is a very good manager.

"I don't want to speak about the penalty, but I don't want also to speak about the performance because to speak about the performance again I have to say the game was in the pocket, the game was under control, and something happened to open the game."

Mourinho - who celebrated his 54th birthday yesterday with a cake and bottle of wine afterwards (at least according to Phil Neville's picture on Twitter) - has history with Moss.


The referee sent him to the stands in November after the Portuguese kicked a water bottle during a game against West Ham United in November. Last season, Mourinho was given a stadium ban as Chelsea manager after reacting angrily during another match against West Ham that was refereed by Moss. Mourinho had accused the official of being "f------ weak" in the FA's written reasons for the one-match stadium ban and £40,000 fine.

Mourinho's anger was also reflected in his television interview with Sky lasting just 31 seconds.

"I just want to say congratulations to my players, it was difficult road to the final," he said. "I'm calm, I behaved on the bench, no more sending offs, no more words."

Mourinho claimed United would not be favourites in the final against Southampton and appeared to aim a thinly veiled dig at Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in the process. Klopp had complained about the wind after Liverpool's 1-0 defeat by Southampton in the second leg of their semi-final at Anfield on Wednesday night and Mourinho rather mischievously suggested it would also be windy at Wembley.

"I don't think we are favourites against nobody, and it doesn't mater where we play, against who, we are never favourites," said Mourinho, who confirmed Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Sergio Romero would play against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

"Normally the stadium is windy and it's difficult," he added. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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