Another home game, another draw which has derailed United’s attempt at gatecrashing the top four. West Bromwich Albion, already reaching their season’s objectives, rolled into Old Trafford with a Tony Pulis style game plan, and rolled back out with the point they were happy to take. Eleven draws this season have really put pay to any title challenge, and on this showing, will scupper the chance of automatically qualifying for the Champions League. Jose Mourinho was in a bullish mood post-match.
Jose Mourinho: “I don’t criticise the other team or that the other team comes here to get the point, to defend, to try to stop the game and try to buy some time. They did their game and I have nothing to say in relation to that. What I can say is we tried. We had six players for me, who were absolutely phenomenal in their attitude, mentality and consistency. And then you have four creative players, four you need to score a goal for you and they didn’t. They had flashes, glimpses and moments, but they don’t have consistency. We pay with two more points [dropped] for that.”
Foster in fine form
“Okay, he is there for that. The goalkeepers come here with great motivation for them, lots of work. I always heard from goalkeepers the easy thing for them is to be in action for 90 minutes. I heard this since I was a kid with my father. In the modern day, it’s exactly the same. They want to be in action all the time so it gives them better conditions to be focused, concentrated and warm to make fantastic saves. The boy Foster was very good.”
The key to winning games like this
“An early or late goal. The key is a goal. You know that by defending very well, being very consistent defensively, from that point of view we had the game under control. We did that so well with the line amazingly up with a lot of risks behind us. The boys did phenomenally well but then you have to score goals to open the game and to make the game completely different. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first minute or last minute, the reality is Foster made some good saves and we missed some incredible chances.”
Another game on Tuesday (against Everton)
“It’s such a small squad, I cannot be happy to play in two days without options. I’m happy to play every game but, in this moment, I’m without options. Many people, especially in some positions, cannot play and I would prefer to give a little rest to brave guys like Antonio [Valencia] and Eric [Bailly], who were playing for the national teams and travelling here to come to play again. They deserve a little bit more but we have to do it so let’s go.”
United defender Eric Bailly, posted on his twitter page, “Frustrating. Time to learn and keep working”.
Former Red Devil and Champions League Winner Owen Hargreaves: “Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Herrera and Mata were out which is a lot of quality missing. They have got the most draws – if they could have turned those three or four draws into victories, they would genuinely be in the top four or competing for the title. They created tons of chances against West Brom – conversion is an issue for Mourinho when Ibrahimovic is missing.”
United go again on Tuesday against an Everton side who fell apart during the Merseyside Derby. You can bet for sure that Everton’s defence will stand tall against the constantly misfiring United forwards. Jose will certainly hope not.