Jose Mourinho says 'masters of complication' Manchester United deserved to be punished

United handed the title to City by losing to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford

Mark Critchley
Old Trafford
Sunday 15 April 2018 18:42
Jose Mourinho bemoaned his side's pedestrian play against West Bromwich
Jose Mourinho bemoaned his side's pedestrian play against West Bromwich

Jose Mourinho claimed his Manchester United side were “deservedly punished” for becoming “masters of complication” in their defeat to West Bromwich Albion which handed the Premier League title to Manchester City.

Jay Rodriguez’s stooping 73rd-minute header handed Albion their first win away from home in the league since August and crowned Pep Guardiola’s City, whose 16-point lead at the top of the table is now unassailable.

Mourinho bemoaned the lack of fluidity and pace in his side’s play as they struggled to break down their visitors’ low block and though he did not believe United deserved to lose, he admitted they did not do enough to win.

“I think we were deservedly punished because we were masters in complication,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “Everything was complicated, players they didn’t want to play simple. Everything was slow, everything was one more touch, one more flick, one more turn, ball lost.

“There was no fluidity in our football. I don’t think we deserved to lose but we gave them the opportunity to win the match by being solid in defence and smelling a chance from a set-play.”

United postponed City’s coronation last weekend by coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the Manchester derby, but hopes of a stronger title challenge next season will be deflated by this poor defeat.

Mourinho denied that he was particularly disappointed to hand the title to City eight days on from that win, but suggested that the victory had affected his players’ concentration during the week.

“I know them, I smell, I have lots of experience and that’s not me because I won eight titles and I’m not on the moon because I won against Manchester City. A match that is only three points,” he said.

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

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