Football: Mourinho slams United's 'summer friendly' attitude after Fenerbahce defeat

Jose Mourinho during the Uefa Europa League group A match between Fenerbahce and Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho during the Uefa Europa League group A match between Fenerbahce and Manchester United.PHOTO: EPA

ISTANBUL (REUTERS) - Jose Mourinho accused his Manchester United side of playing with the intensity of a summer friendly as their season suffered another setback with a 2-1 Europa League defeat at Fenerbahce on Thursday.

United have gone four Premier League games without a victory and now face a battle to reach the knockout stages of Europe's second-tier competition after stunning goals by Moussa Sow and Jeremain Lens inflicted a second defeat in four Group A games.

Manager Mourinho would be forgiven for wanting to turn the clock back a few months given their recent poor form but he was seething after his team began the game in Turkey like a pre-season warmup.

"Our problems started in our global attitude. They were playing the Champions League final, we were playing a summer friendly," the Portuguese told BT Sport.

"We started the game sleeping." Sow opened the scoring with a spectacular overhead volley after two minutes and things got worse for the visitors when Lens curled home a superb free kick in the second half.

 

United reduced the deficit thanks to a vicious drive from Wayne Rooney late on. "They started at 100mph and we started really slowly," Mourinho said. "The referee gives a free kick, they take it in a fast way, we don't react, we lose the second ball and then we don't mark Sow in the box.

"They are then where they want to be, they are in front, they can control the game, they can defend with a lot of bodies, wait for counter-attacks, simulate a few fouls, put some pressure on the referee, stop the game, win time and provoke some conflicts.

"But it's not their fault, it's our fault they went 1-0 in front. When we went 2-0 down we had a reaction ... but overall we didn't deserve anything. Fenerbahce played a good game, an emotional game, and they deserved it."

United are third in Group A, a point behind leaders Feyenoord and Fenerbahce.