Jose Mourinho gave a candid interview after Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford yesterday.
Two goals from Marcus Rashford in quick succession put the game beyond our reach, and although we dominated possession and territory in the second-half, we couldn’t create enough chances to salvage a point.
According to Mourinho, United had a plan to use their taller players against two specific players in our backline: Andrew Robertson and Dejan Lovren.
The latter would always lose his individual battle with Romelu Lukaku, the Portuguese said.
“They had different options, we also had the possibility of the long ball to Scott McTominay, to bring McTominay wide to play on Andrew Robertson in the air,” he began, cited in the Echo. “Romelu Lukaku was confident he could be dominant in relation to Dejan Lovren.”
The Croat had been decent alongside Virgil van Dijk in previous fixtures, but like against Spurs, individual errors mar a positive all-round performance.
Mourinho also claimed that the decision to substitute Rashford early was to bring on a player who was ‘allowed’ a foul on Trent Alexander-Arnold – our right-back who wile at fault in the first-half, offered an attacking presence in the second.
“I heard Gary Neville was asking (on Sky Sports) for Marcus Rashford to get a red card and I was scared maybe the referee was watching it at half-time!” Mourinho continued.
“When we were more defensive in the second half, obviously, as Liverpool pushed for that situation, they brought a lot of players into central positions.
“Ashley Young had to come inside so Rashford was defending the corridor against Alexander-Arnold with a yellow card and with pressure.
“I made the decision to replace him with a player who could make one foul on Alexander-Arnold.”
Liverpool’s defeat was hard to stomach, especially after some of the refereeing decisions in the second-half, but we have more than enough ability in the squad to turn it around.
Winnable games against Watford and Crystal Palace follow, in which we’d like to pick up six points, before the Merseyside Derby at Goodison.