Jose Mourinho once again launched a scathing attack on his Manchester United team, saying they lacked intensity, heart and desire in Saturday’s dour 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.
United, 14 points behind rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester City, were booed off by home fans at the end of the uninspired stalemate at Old Trafford.
Mourinho has often appeared downbeat throughout the campaign, as well as frustrated at a perceived lack of transfer activity, and he was unimpressed with the way his side approached the Palace game.
“A bad result, no chance to see it as one point we win because there are two points we lose,” said Mourinho. “I think Crystal Palace deserve the credit. They came for this and they got it and fought for it and gave everything for it. I don’t want to take their credit away.
“But I think we should also blame ourselves for the result as we started really well and did the most difficult thing apart from score – which is to find the spaces to play against a team that is very closed.
“We found the spaces by analysing the opponents and training and bringing these ideas to the game. We found that. We used the sides very well and making them move to one side and then go to the other, but there was not enough intensity, not enough desire.
“We played a game like it was one more game and I don’t think it was one more game. It was a game we really need to win. If we play with the same philosophy against Young Boys [in the Champions League] then we don’t win and then we have to go to Valencia to win the game there.
“There are games that are special and not just one more: this was a special game, the first of eight Premier League games until the end of December and it was a game we need to win and my feeling is that it was not enough from the heart.
“You must play with [the] brain and also with heart and I think there was not enough heart.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 24, 2018
Victor Lindelof was one United player to earn praise from Mourinho, the Sweden star battling through the match despite carrying a knock from international duty.
Lindelof appeared in discomfort at the end of the game and Mourinho told MUTV he thinks the centre-back is injured.
“I believe so. I have to believe so,” said the Portuguese. “I always say this is the period of the injuries. If they are not injured with the national teams, they come to the clubs and are injured.
“He played against Russia three days ago or two days ago, but of course, we need him when he plays. He was probably our best player.
“He was a brave lad, but he probably punished himself. I don’t know how long he will be out, but he is a fantastic example.”
A point at Old Trafford…we would have taken that before the game, was a good battle and we matched them throughout the 90. The next few games are huge for us in the build up to Christmas! Forward
— Patrick van Aanholt (@pvanaanholt) November 24, 2018
Palace have only scored one goal in their last four matches in all competitions but manager Roy Hodgson was pleased with his side’s solid display at the back.
“Our defending has been good for a while now,” said Hodgson. “We haven’t really been ruthless enough or clever enough to take those opportunities. I think we are getting there. I think it is only a matter of time until they go in.
“I have never lost confidence in the team. It is difficult to constantly complain about deserving more. It is about winning or losing.
“As a coach, performances are the only thing you can hang your hat on because you can affect that.”
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