Sunday 9 December 2018

Jose Mourinho hits out at England and Harry Maguire for 'theatrics' during shootout win over Colombia

Harry Maguire and (inset) Jose Mourinho
Harry Maguire and (inset) Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his surprise at England's 'theatrical' antics and singled out Harry Maguire for his dive in the opposition box against Colombia.

Harry Kane's penalty seemed enough to win the game but Yerry Mina equalised in stoppage time which set up extra time and penalties. The Three Lions advanced to the quarter-final after winning their first ever World Cup penalty shootout, but the match was overshadowed by various misdemeanours.

Eight yellow cards were shown and players from both sides adopted an aggressive approach in a high tempered contest. Jordan Henderson appeared to be on the receiving end of a headbutt but the referee ignored Maguire's argumentative pleas to refer the incident to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and showed Wilmar Barrios a yellow card.

After half time Maguire was accused of going down in the opposition penalty area without any contact, something Mourinho thinks takes the shine off England's win.

"The negative thing for me was the fact…I think there is exaggeration on theatre by the players," he said while working as a pundit on Russia Today.

"I was surprised to see central defenders like Harry Maguire, normally he is a very honest guy, diving in the attacking box asking the referee for VAR.

"Every team has lots of diving, lots of pretending, lots of putting pressure on the referee. The game loses quality…and for me that was the negative point."

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Maguire was also involved in a minor altercation with Juan Cuadrado when the pair began pushing each other off the ball, and Henderson was booked for an apparent headbutt on Mina.

"There were some things going on out there that I have never seen before. It was a bit crazy at times," said Maguire. "They were looking to frustrate us, that was their game plan. The boys showed great discipline, real focus on our job and our individual roles."

The England defender was asked about the incident that saw Barrois given a yellow card for putting his head onto Henderson and remained baffled by the referee's decision. "From what I saw he [Barrios] moved his head towards his face and Jordan got a cut on his lip.

"I don't know how they reviewed it," he added. "If he has shown him a yellow card for it, it has to be a red. From my view, he moved his head towards Jordan's face, he definitely made a connection and cut his lip."

Next up for England is Sweden who beat the Three Lions 4-2 in their last meeting, but Maguire says Gareth Southgate's young and inexperienced side are 'fearless' heading into the quarter-final.

"We have shown against Colombia that we are hungry, we are fearless," the Leicester player said. "There have been a lot of questions about us about how we are a young team and that we don't have much experience."

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