Jose Mourinho reflected on an “amazing match” and a “very important win” after his Manchester United team produced a magnificent fightback to beat Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The Reds came from 2-0 down in the second half to win 3-2 as Nemanja Matic completed the remarkable turnaround with a stunning strike in injury time for his first goal for the club.
The dramatic victory at Selhurst Park saw United secure a second comeback victory in succession, after beating Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford last time out, to move back up to second place in the Premier League.
Read the key points from the boss in his post-match interviews with MUTV and Sky Sports, and in his press conference…
I ALWAYS BELIEVE WE CAN WIN
“I think Palace deserve congratulations, because a match like this is only possible with two teams. I would say it was with three teams because the referee wanted to keep the intensity of the game going. It was a fantastic match. It was a difficult match for me because my team made so many mistakes. We played very good quality football in the second half but we made so many defensive mistakes. I don’t like my teams to lose their organisation like we did, but it was an amazing match and a very important win for us. Their second goal made things much more difficult for us, but Chris Smalling’s goal was very important. I always believe we can win. I will be like that until my last day. Some days more than others but after Smalling’s goal, I always thought it was possible.”
THE PLAYERS KEPT AN AMAZING ATTITUDE
“That disgraceful, childish second goal changed everything. But the players kept an amazing attitude. Juan Mata was finding spaces inside, Marcus Rashford was open on the left and brought their right-back wide to give us more space in the middle. You always need that little bit of luck to win a match in the last few minutes.”
WHAT WAS SAID AT HALF-TIME?
“I cannot tell you half of the things I told my team at half-time because there would be lots of bleeping on television. But what I can say was all about the tactical positioning. To come back from 2-0 down away from home against a team that is desperate for points, it gives us a great feeling.”
WE HAD TO TAKE RISKS
“I think Marcus [Rashford] was good and immediately he created dangerous situations and immediately he opened more space in between defenders. Our attacking players could make runs and penetrate in these gaps, so by the positional point of view, he was very good for us and then I think what I call the crazy right-back was also very important. We had to take the risks and [Jesse] Lingard as a right-back is this kind of crazy right-back that can make a defensive mistake by losing his position, but he can also be an extra man attacking other areas. I think it was difficult for them [Crystal Palace], Roy [Hodgson] saw it, he then brought [Alexander] Sorloth to play wide and try to cover him, but he was really aggressive and [Juan] Mata came to the inside so I think we created them a lot of problems in the second half.”
PRAISE FOR PALACE BOSS
“Roy Hodgson deserves credit because his game plan was aggressive and strong. He had an intention, and he knew when he should attack with direct football. I think he was very good. Normally, the winner gets the credit but I think Roy deserves it.”
NEUTRALS ENJOYED INTENSE GAME
“Roy was very good, so I don’t even want to blame my players and say the start was not good. The start was not good because they were good and match like this are only possible if the two teams are good and if the referee is good and the referee I don’t know if he made any mistake here and there, but his intention was to let the game go, not to give many whistles. That intensity of the game, so the game was intense, it was fast also because the referee had a good participation on that, so I am not happy with some mistakes we did, but people at home in front of the screen, neutrals, I think they enjoyed the game.”
WIN GIVES US A CUSHION
“We want to finish second, but it is huge pressure for us to finish in the top four. Now we have a little pillow. Even a point would have been good for us tonight after being 2-0 behind.”