The Manchester derby at the Etihad stadium ended with Manchester City taking home all three points, after beating their neighbours Manchester United by 3-1, extending their lead to 12 solid points gap from the Red Devils, but Jose Mourinho has blamed their defeat and humiliation on ‘mistakes’.
Manchester City are now on top of the table, with Liverpool and Chelsea as second and third respectively, while Manchester United are still in 7th position with just 20-points.
The result at the Etihad Stadium was not a surprise, as football pundits expected it, but the performance from United has been described as ‘shocking’, as Jose Mourinho’s approach was said to be too negative and unattractive to watch. His team has been described as lucky, especially in the game against Juventus where they were fortunate to somehow come home with a win.
Jose Mourinho whose team are suffering yet another defeat, after the game, praised his team performance but refused to take responsibility for their defeat, blaming players’s ‘mistakes’. He even went as far as saying his team played better after the penalty, as the pressure from his team made City resulted to a counter-attacking game at the Etihad Stadium.
While speaking to MUTV, the Portuguese manager said:
“Not a bad performance at all, far from it. One thing is a bad performance, another is a performance with mistakes. Ours was a performance with mistakes. All of the three goals were mistakes and we were punished for that. We were in the game until the 80th minute or something, even the home supporters felt that, but the third mistake punished us with a result that I don’t think we deserve.
”There was a fantastic character from the team and a great effort by everybody. [Marouane] Fellaini shouldn’t play for 90 minutes because it was too much for him. He should be on the bench and come on later in the game. But he had to play because of Paul [Pogba]’s absence.
So it was not an easy week for us but I just told the players they’re playing much better than before; we are much stronger, we are much more compact. Now we have to not let the defeat disappoint us. Sad, yes, but not too disappointed. In two weeks’ time we play at home against Crystal Palace and, from that game, we have to try to get the points.”
On how their penalty and how that changed the game, he said:
“Everybody changed after the penalty. Even Pep [Guardiola], even them. They felt it then and they became a counter-attack team. They have the power to do that. They bring [Leroy] Sane on and put [Raheem] Sterling in the front. They put [Ilkay] Gundogan in the middle of the park to give them more consistency and fresh legs. They have the team to do that, but everybody felt it.”
On their fixtures and if that is a problem for his team:
“I’m not going to get that as an excuse [the midweek travel], that’s not me. I think everybody has to agree it is one thing is to go to Juventus and play in the Champions League against one of the best teams in the world. And play for 94 minutes in the limits, not just the physical but the mental. Another thing is to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home, enjoy the game and be completely relaxed. I don’t want to say City is not a very good team, I am just saying we arrived in a little bit of different circumstances.”
If Paul Pogba’s presence could have changed the result, he said:
“It is not for me, after a defeat, to speak about a player who was not here [Pogba]. Of course, we missed him and one of the things that breaks a little bit, a lot of our plan, is the fact Fellaini had to start. He is not in the conditions to play 90 minutes. He was phenomenal in his effort but not in the conditions. Normally, adding Fellaini to this late part of the game, you have the image of him fresh coming on at 2-1 with 25 minutes to go, it is an important thing for us.”
On the defeat at the Etihad:
“When I analyse the game today I think the difference was you can look at stats and that’s the way people who don’t understand football look at it. I don’t go for stats, I go for what I felt and what I watched in the game and the game was there until minute 80-something.
”So I consider the performance of my team a performance with mistakes. It’s different to a bad performance. That’s another thing to a performance with mistakes. We made mistakes and we were punished by them but the performance, the mentality, the togetherness, the belief and the fight until the end is something we’re building and we won’t lose that because of a defeat.“