Manchester United lost 2-1 at the hands of Fenerbahce in Turkey, as the inability to create chances cost United three points and laid a heavy burden on the side if they are to advance to the next round of the Europa League. Wayne Rooney’s wonder-goal was the bright moment of a terrible performance from the Englishman once again, as he completely slowed the side down and hurt play moving forward. Jose Mourinho didn’t seem happy after the match, either.
Mourinho, atypical of himself, admitted that Fenerbahce deserved to win the match, because they showed more desire and preparation from the start of the match. He credited United’s reaction to Fenerbahce’s second goal, while hinting it should have been that way from the start of the match and not after a two goal deficit plagued United’s chances of winning.
First, Mourinho criticized United’s attitude, saying the other side wanted to win the match far more than his men did. He then stated that there were moments of good play but part of the struggle has to do with the two left-backs at centre-back. Personally, I think this is nonsense, because there is no reason as to which Axel Tuanzebe shouldn’t be on the pitch.
“Our problems started in our attitude. They were playing the Champions League final and we were playing a summer friendly. That is the reality of the way the game started.
“We had moments of reaction but it is difficult for us to play a game of this difficulty with two left backs playing at centre back. It’s not possible to be dominant and strong.”
Mourinho said the chances created towards the end of the game were good chances, and there were many creative players on the pitch (though I hope Wayne Rooney doesn’t count as a creative player). Admitting Fenerbahce deserved to win, he backed up his point with the effort they put and the fact his side didn’t look mentally prepared on the day. He also said his men didn’t deserve more than what they got, because they didn’t react the way they did to the second goal from the beginning of the match.
“After that we had lots of creative players, our first two changes were midfield players for a striker and another creative player, we tried to have ball and create chances. We did that but we are not scoring enough goals.
“Today I have to say they deserved it. I think they deserved to win. Football is not just about quality it’s also about effort. I think a team that concedes a goal after two minutes is a team that is not ready and is not mentally prepared.
“They counterattack, they simulate, they win lots of time with injuries. The goal was our fault that we let them be in that situation – after our second goal we had a reaction and we probably could get a different result but we didn’t deserve more.
“Football has to be played with the maximum desire.”
For me, Mourinho didn’t choose his side well, because now United is left with a massive hangover going into the match on Sunday. Yet to win a match in the Premier League days after the Europa League, Mourinho will be hoping to break the trend against a wobbly Swansea side yet to win under new American manager Bob Bradley.