Football: Different yardstick for me, says irate Mourinho

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic attempts an overhead kick against Hull City in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Frustrated by the decisions of referee Mike Jones, United manager Jose Mourinho said: "The rules for me are different," as
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic attempts an overhead kick against Hull City in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Frustrated by the decisions of referee Mike Jones, United manager Jose Mourinho said: "The rules for me are different," as he compared himself to Premier League counterparts Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger.PHOTO: REUTERS

United boss alleges referees are biased against him as his side draw with Hull

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho walked out of a post-match television interview after his side were held to a 0-0 draw by Premier League strugglers Hull City on Wednesday.

United were left four points off the Champions League spots in sixth place after failing to exploit the points dropped the previous evening by leaders Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

Mourinho suggested referee Mike Jones had shown Hull too much leniency over time-wasting, but when asked to elaborate, he told a BBC reporter: "If you do not know football, you should not have a microphone in your hand."

He then walked away, cutting the interview short.

The Portuguese then accused officials of double standards during a post-match press conference, citing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's comment that the fourth official told him "I like your passion" during his side's 1-1 draw with Chelsea after screaming at him.

"Yesterday a fourth official told a manager, 'I enjoy very much your passion'," said the United manger. "Today I am told to sit down or I am going to be sent to the stand."

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    Manchester United have failed to beat two newly promoted sides at home in a Premier League season for the first time since 1994-95. They were also held to a goal-less draw against Burnley in October.

    85

    Despite recording 85 shots at Old Trafford against the three promoted sides this season, United scored just two goals. Both came in a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.

He also alluded to his own stadium ban last season, during his time as Chelsea manager, and the recent behaviour of his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger, who was hit with a four-game touchline ban for pushing the fourth official.

"You know clearly that I am different," Mourinho went on. "I am different. The rules for me are different. I am different in everything. I watched my team play in a hotel (when banned), I was forbidden to go to the stadium, my assistant had a six-match stadium ban and he didn't touch anyone.

"So don't ask me questions that put me in a difficult situation. To end the story, I just want to say the simple: 0-0, a great point for them, congratulations. It's a bad point for us," he concluded before walking out of the Old Trafford press room.

The visitors, who showed further signs of improvement under new manager Marco Silva, restricted United to few clear chances.

When United did get a sight of goal, they were thwarted by goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, who made some smart saves either side of half-time.

Three minutes before the break, Michael Carrick's pass was flicked on superbly by Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Paul Pogba, whose powerful effort was saved well by Jakupovic.

The Hull goalkeeper also made a superb block on the line to deny substitute Juan Mata from four yards out after Chris Smalling had headed Ander Herrera's cross into the Spaniard's feet.

There was more bad news for Mourinho when defender Phil Jones limped off injured in the second half.

It might have got even worse, but Lazar Markovic struck the United woodwork late on with the best chance of the game.

"I am happy," said Silva, whose side were beaten by United in the League Cup semi-finals last week but still remain in the relegation zone.

"The performance showed a good organisation in many moments again. We played as a team and when we needed to suffer, we were ready to suffer. The team showed good character, which is important for me, and I am happy."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2017, with the headline 'Different yardstick for me, says irate Mourinho'. Print Edition | Subscribe