Football: Jose Mourinho slams Manchester United's finishing, bemoans offside 'goal'

Everton defender Ashley Williams handles the ball in the box after a shot by United's Luke Shaw in an English Premier League match at Old Trafford. Williams was sent off before Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a stoppage-time penalty to make it 1-1.
Everton defender Ashley Williams handles the ball in the box after a shot by United's Luke Shaw in an English Premier League match at Old Trafford. Williams was sent off before Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a stoppage-time penalty to make it 1-1. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Manchester United continued one of the most unconvincing unbeaten Premier League runs imaginable, comprising 10 wins and 10 draws but making little headway in the table.

On Tuesday, Jose Mourinho admitted that scoring is a problem for his side, after they drew 1-1 with Everton at Old Trafford, and said he will take steps to improve the situation for next season.

United's last-gasp equaliser enhanced their unbeaten record, yet they have remained out of the top four, on 54 points after 29 games.

"It is obvious we do not score enough goals," said the Portuguese. "We have the attacking players, we have the chances but we don't convert enough.

"I would happily sign up now to go 20 matches unbeaten next season, but to win more games we need to score more goals."

Yet, he felt his side scored a legitimate goal, replays suggesting Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 71st-minute header was from a starting position level with the last defender Ashley Williams and perhaps ought to have stood.

"With the VAR (video assistant referee), we win this game 2-1 because it's not an offside," the United manager told BT Sport.

The goal would have helped cancel out Phil Jagielka's 22nd-minute opener for Everton.

Some justice was exacted when Ibrahimovic converted a penalty in the 94th minute, after Williams was sent off for handling substitute Luke Shaw's goal-bound shot.

Ibrahimovic has been happy with his own contribution this season.

"I know the Premier League is begging me to stay," he said. "I came here as a 35-year-old. Everybody thought I was in a wheelchair.

"What happened? The lion is still alive and that's the way it is."

But it was United's ninth home draw of the campaign, and it left the manager clearly unhappy.

"The performance was not very good," said Mourinho, who needs to win his final three home games to match the number of victories achieved at Old Trafford by David Moyes and Ryan Giggs in the year after Alex Ferguson's retirement.

"The spirit in the second half was phenomenal, with some players really in trouble."

He particularly urged full-back Shaw to improve his understanding of the game.

"He had a good performance, but it was his body with my brain," Mourinho said. "He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him."

Everton manager Ronald Koeman was left to rue his side's failure to score a second goal.

"It was painful to (concede a goal) in the last minute like that because Ashley Williams did a great job," said the Dutchman. "We can't complain about the penalty... We also created some good chances on the counter and couldn't take them.

"With a better final ball we might have had a second goal and three points."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2017, with the headline 'Mourinho slams United's finishing, bemoans offside 'goal''. Print Edition | Subscribe