United too complacent against West Brom: Mourinho

West Brom's Jay Rodriguez (on ground) scoring the goal that beat Manchester United 1-0 in the Premier League on Sunday. United's defeat also meant that Manchester City clinched the league title with five games left to play.
West Brom's Jay Rodriguez (on ground) scoring the goal that beat Manchester United 1-0 in the Premier League on Sunday. United's defeat also meant that Manchester City clinched the league title with five games left to play.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • Manchester City players have had to wait a week longer than they would have liked after prematurely booking celebratory tables at restaurants across Manchester in anticipation of a home win over their closest rivals.

According to The Sun, Jesse Lingard was the ringleader in mocking City players for doing so after their 3-2 defeat, and his Manchester United team-mates were similarly vocal about their comeback victory on social media.

But the Red Devils crashed back down to earth after their 0-1 loss to bottom-side West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, which presented the Premier League title to City.

United manager Jose Mourinho did not mince his words afterwards, claiming that they got carried away after their derby win at the Etihad Stadium.

The Portuguese accused his squad of complacency all week and blamed them for being too elaborate against West Brom.

"I saw lots of people on the moon because we won against City, like the win against City was the most important thing ever. I (have) won too much to be happy with just one big victory," he said.

"You see the difference of (the) attitude of some players today compared with other weeks; relax, too stylish, one more touch, one more turn, one more flick.

"We were the masters of complication. We complicated our football and gave West Brom a chance to feel comfortable defensively."

Midfielder Juan Mata felt United had only themselves to blame for taking the Baggies too lightly.

"Second position was not done before the (West Brom) game," the Spaniard said. "It was not done even if we (had) won. It is (now) even more important for the next games."

Mourinho, however, was in a more conciliatory mood towards City, despite having a dig at manager Pep Guardiola in his pre-match programme notes after he wrote that his team had "behaved in a classy way" following their come-from-behind win.

"I knew that sooner or later that (the title) would be (City's) and if I was in that position, I would be very upset if someone said they won the title because United lost," he added.

"They (City) won the title because they were the best team, because they won a great amount of points. They lost only two matches.

"I will congratulate them face-to-face when I have the chance to do it."

REUTERS, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2018, with the headline 'United too complacent against West Brom: Mourinho'. Print Edition | Subscribe