Manchester United beat Benfica 1-0 in Lisbon, their tenth victory in 13 (including the UEFA Super Cup) matches so far this season, their ninth clean sheet as well, but despite all these great numbers, Jose Mourinho felt he had to defend his team after the match.
Not that I read it a lot, but sometimes when I read the press – not only English but Portuguese – I feel that sometimes defending properly it is seen as a crime. But it is not. That’s why we controlled the game because we defended properly
the Portuguese told reporters, rather annoyed, after being asked again about his defensive approach to the game, which saw Marcus Rashford score the only goal from a direct free-kick, hugely assisted by Benfica’s young goalkeeper, Mile Svilar.
You know, with other managers, with other players, I’m pretty sure that yes, they receive less criticism, but that’s not the problem for us. And there is another situation, maybe I’m guilty of it: I never speak about injuries. Other managers, they cry, they cry, they cry when some player is injured. I don’t cry
Mourinho said, referring to Antonio Conte, without naming him, but leaving no doubt that he’s the one he had in mind.
I think the way to do it is to ignore the players that are injured, is to focus on the players that are available. It is to give confidence to the players that are available. But if I want to moan and cry like the others, I can cry for the next five minutes. Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Fellaini, Marcos Rojo – I can cry but I don’t, so we do it with what we have
the Man United manager also said.