Saturday 17 March 2018

Randolph delight after surviving 'Alamo'

Darren Randolph saves a shot from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: Getty
Darren Randolph saves a shot from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: Getty Sportsdesk

Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph cited yesterday's performance against Manchester United as one of the most memorable in his career - claiming he had to withstand the ''Alamo'' to complete the stalemate.

After displacing Adrián for last week's defeat at Tottenham, the Wicklow man retained the No 1 spot and produced a series of saves at Old Trafford.

"It's certainly up there [with my most memorable] games although I'd have liked to be less busy," Randolph said.

"We got the luck today and the saves obviously counted towards something because we got a point.

"I haven't got a favourite save but I'm just happy to have made the saves that count for something and that we've got a point out the game.

"We're very happy. It was tough and like the Alamo at times, but that's what it takes when you come to these places."

They will return on Wednesday for a League Cup quarter-final with the pressure ratcheting up on Jose Mourinho with United making their worst start to any Premier League season.

A fourth successive home draw puts them are 11 points off the lead and eight off a Champions League place. Their total of 20 points from 13 matches is Manchester United's poorest start since 1989-90, the season when Alex Ferguson was in greater danger of being sacked than at any time in his career at Old Trafford.

Mourinho, who has not won a league game at Old Trafford in two months, did not attend the post-match press conference after the 1-1 draw but his assistant, Rui Faria, who has worked with him at Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, said he and his backroom team were aware of what was required.

"We knew the job was not easy and we are trying to change things," he said. "We believe things will change and what we are chasing will arrive for sure."

When he was asked why managing a club that boasts the highest wage bill in the world was not an easy job, Faria said: "If it was easy, then the managers who were here before would have done it. We had a lot of work in front of us and that is what we are doing. We are used to big clubs. We know how to make a big club win and we know we will do it."

Ferguson was in the director's box to see Mourinho sent off for the third time in 20 league matches.

"I think everyone saw his frustration," said Faria of the incident that led to Mourinho's red card. "It should be a free-kick for us and finished with a yellow card for Paul that has kept him out of the next match." (© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

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