Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has blamed defensive blunders for his side’s 3-1 loss to rivals Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday in a Premier League (PL) match.

Goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and İlkay Gündoğan did the damage, although in-form Anthony Martial did score from the penalty spot for the visiting side.

Speaking to MUTV , Sky Sports and in his post-match press conference, Mourinho cited defensive errors that led to the hosts tightening their grip on the game and the tough run of fixtures leading up to the derby that played a part in what was an afternoon to forget for United.

“Not a bad performance at all, far from it. One thing is a bad performance, another is a performance with mistakes. Ours was a performance with mistakes. All of the three goals were mistakes and we were punished for that. We were in the game until the 80th minute or something, even the home supporters felt that, but the third mistake punished us with a result that I don’t think we deserve.”

The 55 year old continues:

”There was a fantastic character from the team and a great effort by everybody. [Marouane] Fellaini shouldn’t play for 90 minutes because it was too much for him. He should be on the bench and come on later in the game. But he had to play because of Paul [Pogba]’s absence. So it was not an easy week for us but I just told the players they’re playing much better than before; we are much stronger, we are much more compact. Now we have to not let the defeat disappoint us. Sad, yes, but not too disappointed. In two weeks’ time we play at home against Crystal Palace and, from that game, we have to try to get the points.”

Contrasting run of fixtures

“I’m not going to get that as an excuse [the midweek travel], that’s not me. I think everybody has to agree it is one thing is to go to Juventus and play in the Champions League against one of the best teams in the world. And play for 94 minutes in the limits, not just the physical but the mental. Another thing is to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home, enjoy the game and be completely relaxed. I don’t want to say City is not a very good team, I am just saying we arrived in a little bit of different circumstances.”

Star man, Pogba’s absence

“It is not for me, after a defeat, to speak about a player who was not here [Pogba]. Of course, we missed him and one of the things that breaks a little bit, a lot of our plan, is the fact Fellaini had to start. He is not in the conditions to play 90 minutes. He was phenomenal in his effort but not in the conditions. Normally, adding Fellaini to this late part of the game, you have the image of him fresh coming on at 2-1 with 25 minutes to go, it is an important thing for us.”

Analysing the defeat

“When I analyse the game today I think the difference was you can look at stats and that’s the way people who don’t understand football look at it. I don’t go for stats, I go for what I felt and what I watched in the game and the game was there until minute 80-something.
”So I consider the performance of my team a performance with mistakes. It’s different to a bad performance. That’s another thing to a performance with mistakes. We made mistakes and we were punished by them but the performance, the mentality, the togetherness, the belief and the fight until the end is something we’re building and we won’t lose that because of a defeat.“

After the international break, the Red Army return to PL action with a home match with Palace on the 24th of this month before a Champions League game with Young Boys three days later.

 

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