Jose Mourinho claims he could ‘smell’ bad performance coming from his Manchester United players

United handed the title to Manchester City with their defeat against West Bromwich Albion

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Sunday 15 April 2018 22:01 BST
Jose Mourinho claimed he could 'smell' a poor performance coming from Manchester United
Jose Mourinho claimed he could 'smell' a poor performance coming from Manchester United

Jose Mourinho claimed he could 'smell' a poor performance coming from his Manchester United players on Sunday after seeing them suffer a surprise defeat to West Bromwich Albion that handed Manchester City the Premier League title.

United postponed City’s celebrations last weekend by coming from behind to beat Pep Guardiola’s 3-2 at the Etihad in a memorable Manchester derby.

The victory inspired hopes of a stronger title challenge next season but those hopes were deflated just eight days later as Jay Rodriguez’s winning header in the 73rd-minute punished a poor United display.

Mourinho criticised his players for over-complicating their play after the final whistle, describing them as “masters of complication”, but also appeared to question the attitude of his players since their win at the Etihad.

When asked whether he thought the derby victory might affect his side, he said: “Yes. I know them, I smell, I have lots of experience and that’s not me because I won eight titles. I’m not on the moon because I won against Manchester City, a match that is only three points.

“I saw lots of people on the moon because we won against Manchester City. Like to win against City was the most important thing ever. I won too much to be happy with just one big victory.

“During the week I was trying to fight that because I was feeling it,” he added. “You see the difference of attitude of some players today compared with other weeks; relax, too stylish, one more touch, one more turn, one more flick. Masters of complication.”

Mourinho felt aggrieved that United were not awarded a first-half penalty when Ander Herrera appeared to be tripped by Albion’s Craig Dawson, but the United manager nevertheless accepted that his side did not deserve to win.

“We complicated our football from the beginning and gave West Brom a chance to feel comfortable defensively,” he said.

“Then [the referee] Paul Tierney was unlucky in one decision but I don’t blame him at all. It’s football. It’s a penalty, nothing else, but I think we deserve to be punished.

“A defeat is too heavy but not to win this match, we deserved that punishment for sure.”

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