Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Mourinho: United's defeat to Newcastle was attractive

Mourinho: United's defeat to Newcastle was attractive

Mourinho was happy to praise the home side for the performance, though, rather than criticise his own players for a hugely disappointing display.

"The double miss of (Anthony) Martial is incredible in the last minute". The Frenchman, who is usually clinical in such situations, tried to slide it past the goalkeeper, but the Newcastle debutant managed to block the shot to preserve his clean sheet. Smalling somehow decided it was a good idea to anticipate a Jonjo Shelvey challenge that never arrived as he carried the ball out of defence, taking a dive which rightly earned him a yellow card and gave Newcastle an attacking free-kick just when they had been looking vulnerable at the back themselves.

Perhaps an indicator that Newcastle would go on to win the game came in the 76th, when Smalling knocked a high ball down for Martial, who has denied twice in succession from the six-yard box number of Newcastle defenders.

Where the resources in the attacking half were previously papering over the cracks, the real problem for Manchester United is now all too evident.

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From the resulting set piece, Florian Lejeune was allowed to rise unchallenged at the far post and Ritchie swept home as United stood watching in the centre of the goalmouth.

Mourinho took off Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard for the trio of Juan Mata, Michael Carrick and Scott McTominay in search of an equaliser but they could not help United from suffering their fifth league defeat of the season. They continued to ramp up the pressure in the closing minutes, and Dubravka saved brilliantly from Carrick in stoppage time to secure the win.

"I think a point was what they had in mind".

United will have to quickly put the result behind them though if they wish to remain in the Champions League spots otherwise their season will quickly unravel.

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