Mourinho- I’m happy for my boys


Jose Mourinho has praised the fighting spirit of his Manchester United players following Sunday’s impressive, hard-fought 2-0 victory over Premier League leaders at Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera both scored vital goals in the lively triumph, yet it was unquestionably an impressive team performance and the significance of the success is huge. Here are the main points from the manager’s post-match interview with Sky Sports and MUTV…

Asked about the impact of fatigue on his starting XI, Mourinho hinted he was influenced more by tactics: “Maybe we didn’t rest. Maybe we just chose the team that we thought was the best team.”

“We went to Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup with same tactics and the game was totally controlled when we played with 11 players, and only the decision that made us play with 10 men for the second half, plus some minutes in the first half. That gave Chelsea a chance to be dominant, but we knew that if we played this way then it would be very difficult for them.”

“He played fantastically well. He also had a very good game at Stamford Bridge in the cup. He had exactly the same chance to score, even playing with 10 men in the second half, because he is faster than their defenders and he can get behind them. But today he scored and it was in the beginning of the match, which gave the team more confidence and stability. So it was very important and the kid played fantastically well.”

Ander was harshly sent off in the FA Cup quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge last month, but the Spaniard was magnificent on Sunday and scored a vital second-half goal. “He had a tough time because the referee in that match [cup tie]created a problem, but the performance was very similar, the team played in a similar way, but the difference was we had 11 players for 90 minutes.”

“I think everyone did what they had to do. Everybody fought really hard. Bailly and Rojo, I think they deserve a special mention because they have played in absolutely every game, non-stop, since the injuries of Smalling and Jones. But I am really happy with the team and the results, because the Manchester City and Liverpool results left us in the position of needing to win. Not even a draw would be a good result for us, so I am really happy for the boys and for us because we keep two windows open to try to play Champions League football.”

“I cannot yet give up the Premier League. We have to try and if one day we are in the Europa League and in the Premier League the distance is too big, then we have to prioritise and nobody can criticise us if in the last matches of the league we do it in a different way. But while it is mathematically possible, we have to go with everything we have.”

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