Mourinho mad over 'childish' display

Harry Maguire equalising deep into stoppage time to rescue a point for 10-man Leicester against Manchester United and continue their good run under manager Claude Puel.
Harry Maguire equalising deep into stoppage time to rescue a point for 10-man Leicester against Manchester United and continue their good run under manager Claude Puel.PHOTO: REUTERS

United waste chances to kill off Foxes before conceding late to trail leaders City by 13pts

LONDON • Jose Mourinho blasted his "childish" Manchester United stars after they conceded a last-gasp equaliser in a damaging 2-2 draw against 10-man Leicester City on Saturday.

Mourinho's side were seconds away from a win that would have brought the gap between themselves and Premier League leaders Manchester City, who thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 earlier on Saturday, back to 11 points.

Instead, City's advantage is 13 points - the biggest gap between first and second place on Christmas Day in English top-flight history.

After falling behind to Jamie Vardy's strike, United led through Juan Mata's double.

Leicester looked doomed when they had substitute Daniel Amartey sent off only 17 minutes after he came on, for two yellow cards in quick succession.

But in the fourth minute of added time, England defender Maguire slid in Marc Albrighton's cross.

Mourinho was furious with his team's late defensive blunder and a series of woeful finishes when chances arose to kill the game.

PATHETIC PERFORMANCE

We were punished by our mistakes. Childish loss of possession, so easy. Childish in their box and childish in our box. We were punished in two points.

JOSE MOURINHO , United manager, lamenting his second-placed side's errors.

"We didn't win because we missed incredible chances. I would say joke chances," said the United manager. "We made a big defensive accumulation of mistakes in an easy match to win. I talked to the players at half-time when it was 1-1 that it was an easy match to win.

"We were punished by our mistakes. Childish loss of possession, so easy. Childish in their box and childish in our box. We were punished in two points."

The worst of the wasted chances he referred to were set up in the second half by Romelu Lukaku but frittered away by his team-mates.

The Belgian put through first Anthony Martial, who fired wildly over the bar, and then Jesse Lingard, also clean through, who could only hit a post.

That led to an anxious last few minutes even against 10 men. Defender Chris Smalling was injured and in no position to clear when Maguire got on the end of Albrighton's cross to the far post.

For the first goal, Phil Jones had been lured out of position and could not catch Vardy as the striker raced onto Riyad Mahrez's pass.

And Vardy proved again that he is the man for the big occasion - 21 of his 50 Premier League goals have come against the "Big Six".

His 27th-minute effort marked his third goal against United. He also also found the net against Liverpool (six), Arsenal (five), Manchester City (three), Chelsea (two), Tottenham (two).

It was another frustrating day for Mourinho, whose side had crashed to an embarrassing League Cup quarter-final defeat at second-tier Bristol City in midweek.

For Leicester, it was a spirited recovery to continue their good form under new manager Claude Puel.

The Foxes have lost just twice in 10 league games the Frenchman has been in charge, and are eighth in the table.

"The manager has come in and results have picked up," said Maguire. "Last-minute goal to equalise, that is massive for us. It feels like a victory, but it is only a point against a good side."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2017, with the headline 'Mourinho mad over 'childish' display'. Print Edition | Subscribe