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Mourinho sent off as Man Utd slump goes on

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Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Nov 27 – Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands as his Manchester United side drew 1-1 at home to West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic cancelled out Diafra Sakho’s opening goal to leave United contemplating a run of four straight home league draws for the first time since Dave Sexton’s managerial tenure in 1980-81.

Mourinho, the current United manager, was dismissed by referee Jonathan Moss in the 27th minute when he kicked a water bottle in anger after midfielder Paul Pogba was cautioned for simulation.

Mourinho, whose side have fallen 11 points below pace-setters Chelsea, now faces Football Association censure for the third time in barely two months.

He served a one-match touchline ban and had to pay an 8,000 pounds ($9,980, 9,420 euros) fine for arguing with referee Mark Clattenburg during the recent home draw with Burnley.

Prior to that, he had been fined 50,000 pounds by the FA for claiming Manchester-based referee Anthony Taylor would find it difficult to perform well in a game at Liverpool.

To add to the volatile situation, Mourinho served a one-match stadium suspension last season, when Chelsea manager, after an angry confrontation with Moss during a game at West Ham.

On that occasion the Portuguese had to be escorted from the referee’s room at half-time by stadium security.

Mourinho’s mood at Old Trafford cannot have been helped by the fact his side conceded within two minutes of kick-off.

Jesse Lingard brought down Dimitri Payet, who took the resulting free-kick and planted the ball onto the head of Sakho, who slipped marker Ibrahimovic and converted powerfully from six yards.

United’s Swedish striker made up for that error on 21 minutes, however, when he headed the hosts level from similar distance after connecting with Pogba’s excellent chipped through ball.

It was no more than United deserved for the way in which they responded to going behind so early in the contest.

– Lingard denied –

Juan Mata’s shot tested West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph and, after claiming the equaliser, Ibrahimovic almost finished off Marcus Rashford’s cross at the culmination of a flowing move.

After Mourinho’s dismissal, Mata and Ibrahimovic combined for Lingard to rush a shot over the bar and, on 36 minutes, Rashford missed the best chance yet of giving his side the lead.

Phil Jones’s header put the teenager clean through on goal, but he was denied by Randolph’s outstretched leg.

Pogba and Ibrahimovic headed wide, the latter had a shot superbly blocked by Angelo Ogbonna and Randolph again did well to dive and turn away a Lingard shot just before half-time.

West Ham threatened little after taking the lead, until the opening exchanges of the second half when Payet began to exert some influence on proceedings.

First, his corner picked out Sakho, who headed onto the roof of David de Gea’s goal.

Then the France international almost scored with an audacious free-kick as he spied De Gea slightly out of position and forced the Spaniard into a brilliant tip over the United crossbar.

Wayne Rooney, one goal shy of equalling Bobby Charlton’s club record of 249 goals, was brought on after 64 minutes and his curling shot tested Randolph, although the goalkeeper saved comfortably enough.

There was more frustration when substitute Henrikh Mkhitaryan struck the post from Antonio Valencia’s cross and Lingard tapped in the rebound, only to be — correctly — flagged offside.

The impressive Randolph would repel shots from Pogba and Ibrahimovic before the end and even when Ibrahimovic beat him in the chase to a long ball forward, Cheikhou Kouyate was on hand to clear.

In a strong finish from the visitors, De Gea was required to block at his near post as substitute Ashley Fletcher threatened to claim a dramatic smash-and-grab winner.

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