Search icon


21st Apr 2018

Jose Mourinho rightly gave two United players the hairdryer treatment after Spurs goal – and it worked

They needed a kick up the backside

Matthew Gault

They needed a kick up the backside

Jose Mourinho was visibly irate at how his Manchester United players started their FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham.

Spurs came flying out of the traps with intensity and purpose and took the lead after ten minutes when Christian Eriksen swung a cross to Dele Alli to fire home at the back-post.

United’s defending for the opening goal was poor. Ashley Young was caught out of position, Paul Pogba’s attempt at stopping Eriksen’s cross was, shall we say lackadaisical, while neither Chris Smalling or Antonio Valencia could stop Alli from making a late dash and firing past David De Gea.

The goal gave Spurs a huge lift and Mauricio Pochettino’s side were all over United after that, winning balls in midfield and showing some fine rhythm to their passing as United struggled to get to grips with the tempo.

Noticing that his players were being outplayed and looked sluggish, Mourinho voiced his discontent on the touchline. The Portuguese coach was not happy with what he was seeing and let Ander Herrera have it. Pogba, too, received a few choice words from his manager.

And Mourinho’s intervention certainly had the desired effect, as Pogba dispossessed Mousa Dembele and picked out Alexis Sanchez with an inch-perfect cross to create United’s equaliser.

And add to that, Herrera smashed home United’s second, making a darting run to the edge of the area to receive a pass from Jesse Lingard and fire brilliantly beyond Michel Vorm for what proved to be the winner.

Having been put to the sword early on by Tottenham’s pressure, United responded strongly and turned the game on its head to edge the North Londoners and book their place in the final.