MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 1 – Jose Mourinho was livid after his Manchester United side conceded a sloppy early goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley.
Christian Eriksen scored the third-fastest goal in Premier League history after just 11 seconds as United slipped to a disappointing loss that saw leaders Manchester City stretch the lead at the top of the table to 15 points.
Mourinho’s misery was compounded when Phil Jones turned Kieran Trippier’s cross into his own goal for Spurs’ second goal.
Later, the Portuguese said he felt his players had forgotten all their pre-game planning in conceding the early goal.
“I don’t think it is very normal to concede a goal like we did after 15 seconds,” Mourinho said. “It is especially ridiculous because the players, they watch it before, we analyse opponents and work on opponents’ dynamics and routines.
“The players they knew the long ball, they knew that Harry Kane – before the kick-off, is already inside the opponent’s half. We knew everything.
“Then we don’t press the ball – one mistake. We don’t pick the ball in the air – second mistake. We don’t win the second ball on the ground – third mistake. We don’t cover the inside when Eriksen comes – four mistakes.
“Four mistakes after 15 seconds and you are losing 1-0 against a good team. Then I think (we had) a good reaction.
He even suggested that the goal could have been disallowed.
“He (Kane) was (in our half) – if the linesman or if the referee sees it, of course, it wouldn’t be a goal, but it wouldn’t be fair for me to blame the referee.”
Mourinho admitted that given City’s lead the race for one of the remaining top-four places was going to be tight.
“I always think when the leader has a certain distance, I have been there a few times, you are calm, you are relaxed and you don’t feel the pressure,” Mourinho added. “You know that your opponent, sooner or later, is going to drop at least a couple of points and you are completely in control.
“We play match after match, yes the Premier League finishes for us at Old Trafford in May against Watford but you knew the distance to the leader was already considerable even before this match. Now we have us, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal – we will be there fighting for the positions.”