Five great United comebacks under Mourinho
Manchester United's never-say-die attitude to win matches has been apparent throughout the club's illustrious and proud history, and that has continued since Jose Mourinho was appointed manager in the summer of 2016.
After the Reds came from 2-0 down to beat Newcastle United 3-2 at Old Trafford last Saturday, we decided to look into other memorable turnarounds that Mourinho has masterminded during his time at the club.
United only came from behind to win twice in Jose’s first season at the helm, in 2-1 victories at home to Middlesbrough in the league and away at Blackburn Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup – a mark of the formidable record the Reds boasted when scoring the first goal in games that season.
However, last season, United displayed impressive powers of recovery when falling behind, to win on six occasions across all competitions.
We’ve picked out five of the Reds’ greatest comebacks under Jose to look at in more detail…
5 December 2017 | Champions League | United 2 CSKA Moscow 1 | Old Trafford
Even after winning four of the previous five matches, the Reds came into last season’s final Champions League group game needing a positive result against CSKA Moscow to guarantee progression to the knockout phase. Despite making a bright start, United went behind to Alan Dzagoev’s goal on the stroke of half-time but turned it around admirably in the second half. Two goals in the space of just two minutes from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford ensured Mourinho’s men qualified for the last 16 as winners of Group A.
25 February 2018 | Premier League | United 2 Chelsea 1 | Old Trafford
As the race to finish in the top four began to heat up, the Reds claimed an important come-from-behind victory over fellow challengers Chelsea at the Theatre of Dreams. Willian had given Antonio Conte’s side the lead on 31 minutes, but the Reds refused to buckle as Romelu Lukaku restored parity before half-time by scoring against his former club. Both sides had chances to win it in the second half but Mourinho’s substitutions reaped reward as one of his replacements, Jesse Lingard, headed home the decisive goal from a Lukaku cross with 15 minutes remaining.
5 March 2018 | Premier League | Crystal Palace 2 United 3 | Selhurst Park
One of the most memorable games during Jose’s tenure so far came on a Monday night in South London as, not only did it feature plenty of drama, but a winning goal which fans voted as our best strike of 2017/18. The Reds endured a difficult first half as Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace deservedly went 2-0 up through Andros Townsend’s deflected effort early on and a Patrick van Aanholt strike shortly after the break. United had to do it the hard way but goals from Chris Smalling and Lukaku levelled the scores as the Reds seized control. It looked as though both teams would have to settle for a draw as the game entered stoppage time but Nemanja Matic had other ideas. The Serbian unleashed a half-volley from 25 yards which flew past Wayne Hennessey and notched a memorable first goal for United to clinch all three points – much to the delight of our magnificent away following.
7 April 2018 | Premier League | Manchester City 2 United 3 | Etihad Stadium
The Reds breathtakingly wrecked neighbours City’s plans to wrap up the Premier League title on derby day by producing an astonishing comeback at the Etihad Stadium, which will live long in the memory. The Reds were seemingly dead and buried at half time as Pep Guardiola’s City, who had further chances to score, led 2-0 after goals from captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. The home supporters were prematurely readying themselves for a party at United’s expense but the old never-say-die spirit was revived in a spectacular second period that saw a double from Paul Pogba and a winner from Smalling delay City’s celebrations in a captivating contest.
21 April 2018 | Emirates FA Cup semi-final | United 2 Tottenham 1 | Wembley Stadium
The great comeback kings of 2018 were at it again as the Reds displayed more fighting spirit to see off Spurs and book a return to the home of English football in the form of an Emirates FA Cup final date against Chelsea. Spurs took the lead at their temporary home ground as Dele Alli converted Christian Eriksen’s cross in the 10th minute, but United didn’t lie down and roared back as Alexis Sanchez continued his impressive goalscoring record at Wembley by heading in an equaliser from Pogba’s inch-perfect cross. Jose's men continued to be in the ascendancy in the second half and completed the turnaround just after the hour mark through a composed finish from Ander Herrera.