Jose Mourinho

Jose: The players showed fantastic attitude

Wednesday 05 December 2018 23:19

Jose Mourinho praised the spirit of his Manchester United side after the Reds fought back twice to earn a 2-2 draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

On two occasions, the Reds had to rise up and find a response with Anthony Martial firing United level after Shkodran Mustafi opened the scoring for the Gunners while Jesse Lingard netted just 72 seconds after Alexandre Lacazette had put the visitors 2-1 up.

Speaking to BT Sport and MUTV, as well as his press conference after the game, the manager discussed the character of his players but rued the mistakes that led to the game being drawn.

The result is not the result we want, but what can you say? Fantastic spirit, fantastic commitment, great intensity, great dynamic, happiness to give absolutely everything, people exhausted at the end of the game, lots of players in difficult circumstances. 

"Many players were in difficulties. There were some good performances, but players in difficulty. Diogo Dalot, the first start. Marcos Rojo, the first minute. Matteo Darmian, the third start. Eric Bailly doesn't play for a couple of months. Chris Smalling, a brave guy to play with such difficulties that he had, so it was really difficult, but the boys left their soul, they left what they have [on the pitch]."

Our post-match interview with Mourinho Video

Our post-match interview with Mourinho

"It was a spirited performance - everbody saw that - but the result is not the one we want," says Mourinho...

“It's a positive sign [that the players sacrificed themselves], but there are things I cannot get from them and I cannot say much more than this. But they showed a big soul, everybody gave everything. That is for sure and it is a positive feeling. I cannot tell you much more. I prefer just to say that I am happy with the soul, the commitment, the bravery. I'm really happy with that.”

"We should win the game. We made two big mistakes for their goals, we had other mistakes that were the mistakes that allowed them to have counter-attack situations. Easy passes that we lost, easy controls that we lost, things that at the high level you normally don't do. And then again our performance is a little bit marked by these ups and downs, and the second goal comes in an awful moment for the team because at that moment we were on top of the game."

Our defensive line died. They were really, really tired and when we need the team to push up, when we bring to the game powerful people - Lukaku, Fellaini, Pogba - that is when our defensive line stayed back and couldn't close lines anymore. When David De Gea has the ball the team needs to push up, but the players were dead, exhausted. Eric Bailly couldn't even leave the box, Chris Smalling felt a little bit better. it was difficult for them, really, really difficult for them, but they managed to give everything and when people give everything, I cannot be critical. I can only be supportive."