Football: Jose Mourinho praises Manchester United despite Stoke City taking a point

A dejected- looking United goalkeeper David de Gea, whose fumble led to Stoke's equaliser at Old Trafford late in the game. Anthony Martial had given the home team the lead with his first goal of the season. The point moved Stoke up into 19th spot wh
A dejected- looking United goalkeeper David de Gea, whose fumble led to Stoke's equaliser at Old Trafford late in the game. Anthony Martial had given the home team the lead with his first goal of the season. The point moved Stoke up into 19th spot while United are in sixth place.PHOTO: REUTERS

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester United 1

Stoke 1

MANCHESTER • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side could have scored six goals, after their "best performance all season" saw them held to a 1-1 draw by English Premier League strugglers Stoke City at Old Trafford yesterday.

An uncharacteristic error from United goalkeeper David de Gea gave Stoke a point that saw the visitors climb off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Anthony Martial's first goal of the season appeared to have given United victory.

But his 69th-minute effort was cancelled out eight minutes from time by Joe Allen, with de Gea playing a key role in the equaliser for a Stoke side managed by former United striker Mark Hughes.

An inspired substitution by United manager Jose Mourinho, who brought on Martial and Wayne Rooney after 66 minutes, saw the former give his team the lead just three minutes later.

There had been little for Stoke supporters to cheer in that second half but, eight minutes from time, they equalised after de Gea failed to gather a deflected Glen Johnson shot.

Jonathan Walters pounced on the rebound and, after his effort from a tight angle had struck the crossbar, Allen had the task of bundling the ball into an open goal from close range. He did not miss.

"To go a goal behind against a team like that and get a point is a tough ask but we did it," said Allen, whose goal was his second in consecutive league games.

"When you come to Old Trafford, you're not going to get many chances. We haven't been picking up many points but you can't fault the effort.

"We were determined to come here and get at least a point. We did threaten at times, which is a good sign for the weeks to come."

Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant's heroics also proved crucial in the final minutes of the game.

The Englishman, who made a total of eight saves, saved well from Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a late United barrage to hold on to the point.

Despite dropping two points, Mourinho said it was the "best United performance all season".

The Portuguese added: "It was much better than against Leicester (when United won 4-1 last week). It could have been 3-0 or 4-0 at half-time, 6-0 at the end of the game, but the result was 1-1.

"The players and I did everything. I made changes, everyone was giving more and more but today we could be here all day without winning the game."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2016, with the headline 'Mourinho praises United despite Stoke taking a point'. Print Edition | Subscribe