Negative tactics rile Jose

An attempt by United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan being saved by West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster during their game at Old Trafford. Manager Jose Mourinho has lamented the eight draws and one loss at home that have left them outside the top four spot
An attempt by United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan being saved by West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster during their game at Old Trafford. Manager Jose Mourinho has lamented the eight draws and one loss at home that have left them outside the top four spots in the Premier League.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

He rips into West Brom's defensive play as United draw again but also blasts his attack

LONDON • Jose Mourinho's frustration at West Bromwich Albion's spoiling tactics spilt over, as he branded a BBC reporter's question "silly" following what was Manchester United's eighth league draw at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Along with the defeat by Manchester City, it is now 19 points ceded by Mourinho's team at home this season in the Premier League.

Factor in Liverpool's earlier win to leave United six points behind Jurgen Klopp's men - with two matches in hand - and this was not a happy day for the manager.

Tony Pulis' side were particularly negative in the 0-0 draw, so, when asked if United and West Brom were of a similar level, Mourinho said: "You think the game was equal? I can smile win, lose or draw. I am sorry to say, it is a silly question.

"When the team crosses the line once in 90 minutes and when the team is in the opposition half trying and trying and trying, you ask if we were equal? David de Gea was sleeping and he did the funny thing at the end, I was laughing with that."

The last comment referred to a late Darren Fletcher effort that went through the goalkeeper's hands onto the bar before de Gea clutched it.

VISITORS ARE SPOILERS

Teams come here just to defend. Goalkeepers come here to be man of the match. We cannot score a goal even when we are one-on-one. We beat everyone on quality of play and direction of the game, possession, creation and ambition, but we drew too many matches.

JOSE MOURINHO, United manager, on having too many home draws this season.

A winner for Pulis' defence-first-and-last team would have been unfair. As Mourinho said: "One team had the ball, one team didn't. One team tried to win, the other tried to draw. One 'keeper did a funny thing, the other made three great saves."

Of the dropped points, the Portuguese said: "We have a lot of draws this season. Teams come here just to defend. Goalkeepers come here to be man of the match. We cannot score a goal even when we are one-on-one. We beat everyone on quality of play and direction of the game, possession, creation and ambition, but we drew too many matches."

Mourinho pointed blame at the attacking quartet of Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for lacking a killer touch.

"Today for 90 minutes Valencia was consistent, Ashley Young was consistent, Marcos Rojo was consistent, Eric Bailly was consistent, (Marouane) Fellaini was consistent, (Michael) Carrick was consistent," he said of his defence and midfield. "And the other ones were not consistent, the other ones were a flash of talent... and this is deja vu all season.

"When you score a goal against these teams (who United have drawn against) you don't win 1-0. You win three or 4-0 because if we score a goal the game is open and you have a different story. Then they have to play a different way and we are not consistent on this. We miss easy chances."

The manager hinted the attack is where he will look to strengthen in the summer. "In football, especially in teams that want to win things, you need consistency in the individual," he said when asked about his priorities. "In these teams at this level you need to be consistent."

United remain unbeaten since losing 0-4 at Chelsea on Oct 23. "It's an amazing unbeaten run, 19 matches in the modern Premier League is amazing," Mourinho said. "It is fantastic but too many draws at home because some draws away from home are very acceptable, positive, you can deal with it but there are too many draws at home."

Pulis' side did not go to attack and the manager was fair in acknowledging that West Brom did not deserve to win via de Gea's mistake near the final whistle.

"If we won at the end, it would have been unjust," said the manager, whose side remain eighth. "We are really pleased with the effort and commitment... it is a fabulous point to get at Old Trafford."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2017, with the headline 'Negative tactics rile Jose'. Print Edition | Subscribe