Jose Mourinho feels his Manchester United team were fortunate in the first half against Bournemouth but ultimately deserved to emerge victorious in Saturday’s Premier League match.
The Reds fell behind on the south coast as early as the 11th minute when Callum Wilson opened the scoring for the hosts but the in-form Anthony Martial levelled matters 10 minutes before the break with his fifth goal in four league games. Both sides had chances in the second period before substitute Marcus Rashford, in the week of his 21st birthday, netted an injury-time winner to give United a 2-1 victory at the Vitality Stadium.
WE WERE REALLY POOR IN THE FIRST HALF
““It wasn’t just the start [that was bad], it was all of the first half. At half time, I thought I was the luckiest manager in the Premier League, to be at 1-1 in a half in which it should be 5-2 or 6-2 [to Bournemouth]. We were really lucky because we were really poor. Defensively awful, absolutely awful, and when I say defensively, I don’t just look to my defenders but to the whole team as a team. We didn’t start pressing up, the work we did during the week. I felt like people watching this game don’t believe how hard we have worked this week, our pressure on this opponent in the first half was a disaster. Then, in the second half, it was exactly the opposite. We created a lot of chances, we pressed higher, with much more aggression, intensity and intention. We created lots of chances, we deserved to score before the 92nd minute. In the end, we got the goal which gave us the important points.””
WHAT I SAID AT HALF TIME
“Strong, but calm words [at half time]. I started by being positive by saying that it was impossible to play worse than we did in the first half, so the second half is going to be better for sure and it wa, obviously. As a team, the team performed much better. I think I was happy with bringing Ander [Herrera] to the game because normally the intention is, when you look for a better result than you have, is to play attacking players or in theory to make attacking changes and I felt that the team needed a player like Ander to give us balance in that position, to give us more pressure, recover the ball faster and also to project Ashley Young, so I think I was happy with that change. The team was much better and we created lots of chances. That double chance, Ashley Young’s free-kick and Marcus Rashford’s rebound, I cannot believe that we didn’t score in that situation. The two points we lost in the last minute against Chelsea, we got them back today.”
THE BEST WARM-UP OF THE SEASON
““I don’t understand. I wasn’t in the warm-up but my assistants [Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna] came to me and said ‘this is the best warm-up of the season, everyone was focused, great intensity’. I said that it was a phenomenal week, a very good week of work, so I cannot believe how bad we started. But I think a few mistakes then created some instability in the team – defensive mistakes which made us unstable to attack. I love the song ‘attack, attack, attack’ but you need to know that when you lose the ball, you have stability. We’re not showing this instability. There was a feeling of instability and today it happened again against a good team. But tactically, we were prepared for everything. During the season, they played a couple of matches with five at the back, we were ready for that. We were ready for this situation – [they played] 4-4-2. We knew that [Josh] King wasn’t playing, we thought they could play the way they did. We were ready for everything. I really cannot understand the kind of [early-match] mentality that brings me more white hair!””