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19th Oct 2016

Jose Mourinho praises “defensive” Liverpool following Monday’s goalless draw

Thanks for that, Jose...

Robert Redmond

Jose Mourinho has praised Liverpool for their defensive performance on Monday night at Anfield.

Manchester United, and their coach, had been receiving plaudits for the defensive display in the goalless draw.

Many assumed that this was a classic Mourinho performance. United had just 35 percent possession, their lowest total in a Premier League game since records began, took no risks and killed the game as a contest.

They avoided passing the ball in positions where Liverpool could press them, slowed the game down and hurled long-throws down the line in order to avoid risk the ball being lost in general play.

United also had one shot on target and created hardly any chances.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League

However, for those of you who naturally assumed that United were defensive in the game, Mourinho has used his press conference ahead of the Europa League game against Fenerbahce to clear up any confusion.

It was, in fact, Liverpool, a team who hadn’t kept a clean sheet in their previous nine games, who put in a great defensive performance, and United had attempted to win the game.

“I think you are very fair with Liverpool because Liverpool had a fantastic defensive performance,” the United manager said on Wednesday afternoon.

“For the first time they played with two defensive midfielders. For the first time they played with (Jordan) Henderson and (Emre) Can together.

“For the first time, they took a striker off to play another midfield player and you are very unfair with them. The 0-0 result was because two teams were really good defensively.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted. We wanted to win and we only got a point so we were not 100% successful.”

Cheers, Jose. All those “football Einsteins” had wrongly assumed it was you and your team who had put in an excellent defensive performance. It turns out it was Liverpool who deserve the credit in this regard.

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