MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Nov 23 – Jose Mourinho refused to blame his Manchester United players for their surprising 1-0 away defeat at Basel on Wednesday night.
Michael Lang’s late winner ended United’s 100 per cent record in the group stages, meaning United still need to get a point in their final group game against CSKA Moscow.
Anthony Martial and Marcos Rojo hit the frame of the goal for United but Lang’s strike gave the Swiss side a deserved win.
Mourinho was left confused by the permutations for the group, but they only need to avoid defeat against the Russians at Old Trafford in order to progress.
A draw in Basel would have secured top spot, but United appeared to be caught in two minds about whether to stick and secure a point or twist in a bid to win.
“We played against a team that played with five defenders,” Mourinho said. “We knew that.
“We tried to play with three attacking players and that worked in the first half because they couldn’t handle us.
“We didn’t score in the second half probably [because of] the fact that we know one point is enough.
“Probably [when] at 75 minutes, 80 minutes we didn’t score, so it is not time to try to win, it is now time to try control and in the end we lost.
“So it’s hard for me to be upset with the players. The first half the attitude was good, the football was good.
“It is really difficult to blame. It’s just football.”