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Mourinho: The result could have been bigger

Manchester United could have scored more goals in their 2-0 victory over Southampton in the Premier League on Friday, manager Jose Mourinho believes.

Mourinho was happy with his team’s performance but said the scoreline could have been more dominant after Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed the opener and then sealed the points with a penalty.

Southampton had a goal disallowed when Dusan Tadic headed home, but the visitors, who had won on their two previous visits to Old Trafford, rarely threatened the United defence.

“[We were] good enough to deserve the victory and to be in control,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

“I know that by the numbers they had moments of more possession but I knew that, the closed diamond is good to hide the ball from opponents but they didn’t create danger and we were always in control. The result could be bigger.

“It’s a natural evolution of things and it’s impossible to be faster than what we are doing with the way we are playing football and the way that the team is defending because it’s a different way to defend – zonal is much more difficult to defend than man to man.

“It is impossible to demand more from the boys, great spirit, everyone working hard, and I’m pleased.”

Paul Pogba made his second United debut after completing a world record transfer move from Juventus and the France international impressed Mourinho with his performance.

“I think he was so good,” Mourinho said. “Everything was so good, as an individual he was so good, collectively he is learning how to play with us, but I am really happy.

“We have to improve and one day we hope he can play more offensively but he needs the freedom that he had today. I couldn’t be happier with him. 

“[Marouane] Falleini was superb, [Ander] Herrera the same, I have a top quality squad.”

While Pogba grabbed the spotlight on his United return, it was Ibrahimovic who made the difference with two powerful finishes and Mourinho hailed the 34-year-old’s impact.

“He’s very good in the air but he’s very good with his feet,” said Mourinho. “He holds the ball better than anyone and his movement is great.  

“I’m really happy with his performance but the team was good and the collective effort to keep the clean sheet meant everyone was working hard.

“I’m hurt by decisions to leave players out because they all work hard and deserve to play. I’m desperate for September for more games then they get what they deserve, which is to play.”

Fri 19 Aug, 2016
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