Rooney blasts Ming’s challenge, says, “there’s no place for it. I’m sure there will be punishment after the game.”

This game has been a perfect definition of the word frustration and also United’s season. Manchester United, after several weeks, returned to the Premier League but with another frustrating home draw. Not only was it frustrating it also got pretty dirty, with one player red carded and another two with a possible retrospective ban. United started this game at sixth in the table and a win could have taken them, finally, up one spot. But it wasn’t to be and as it stands, this will be another week that United will spend in the familiar 6th position.

The game started off on an excellent note for United with the team creating chances after chances. But they couldn’t do the last important bit of finishing. If the players could finish off the chances created, this game would have been over in the first half. The game was also marred with several heated moments and a few controversial ones. One such incident was when Tyrone Mings stepped on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s head and the latter responding with an elbow a few minutes later. Wayne Rooney was pretty upfront about it post game and seemed really stern about expecting a retrospective action against the Bournemouth player.

“I don’t think the referee has seen Mings stamp on Zlatan’s head – I was right there – it’s wrong.

“Everyone likes to go in for tackle in the game but to try and stamp on a player’s head is wrong – there’s no place for it. I’m sure there will be punishment after the game.” 

Tyrone Mings, however, when asked after the game about the incident and if it was intentional, unsurprisingly said no.

“No, not at all. I would never do that, that’s not in my game. Hard and fair is how I like to tackle. Stuff like that off the ball isn’t how I play. He is who he is, he’s s physical player, I knew what type of battle I’d be in coming here. That’s what we had, a physical battle. [On Ibrahimovic’s possible elbow] There was an elbow, after the ball came in after, I didn’t see it. But I felt it.”

Similarly Ibrahimovic, too, came out saying it was an unintentional and an unlucky incident.

“I went for the ball and it was unlucky he jumped into my elbow. But it was nothing on purpose… I hope he’s not injured.”

Jose Mourinho cut out a frustrating figure post the game, much alike all the United supporters. He did not speak about the heated incidents on the field and stayed away from any controversial statements.

“I am a football man. I have been in football in many, many years.

“I don’t like to speak after matches what happened during matches. What happened in matches happened in matches. The referee was there. 

“If you asked me if I am going to be happy if Mings gets three, four, five match ban. I really don’t care about it. He knows what he did. He knows better than anyone. He knows better than the referee the intention or the moment or the emotion of the moment. I don’t want to speak about it. It is not important for me.”

He went on to stress on the footballing facts that actually matters at the end of the day, the points your team win, which in United’s case were just one.

“What is important to me is the result of the game. The fact that once more we deserved to win by far and we didn’t. We lost 2 points and we lost a good opportunity to close the gap and to jump a little bit.”

He also felt that the result felt “punished” when he spoke to MUTV.

This leaves United level on points with Liverpool but still behind them on goal difference. This draw hurts, even more, thinking a win could have put United back in top four, albeit only for a few hours. But looking back is not going to help much and United need to start focussing on the next few fixtures which will define United’s season; Europa League tie, an FA Cup quarter-final against this season’s champions elect Chelsea and the next league game which will be a must win considering the table position. It seemed like one of those days, the problem is the frequency of such days is far more than expected. Looking at United’s end of the season fixtures, United need to start picking up these “easy” points in order to have some room for a slip up at the end. Hopefully, the players can get this loss (feels like one) out of their heads and start focussing on the upcoming games.

Written by Chinmay Padhye


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