10/12/2017 19:30, Report by Adam Higgins, Filipe Cachada
Jose Mourinho feels the referee made “a crucial mistake” which proved decisive in Manchester United’s derby defeat against Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds claimed for a penalty in the 79th minute when Ander Herrera went down under the challenge of Nicolas Otamendi but match official Michael Oliver chose to book the Spaniard for simulation and City went on to win 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Here are the manager’s main comments from his interview with Sky Sports and post-match press conference:
‘IT WAS A CLEAR PENALTY’
“Clear penalty. I’m sorry for us, I’m sorry for Michael [Oliver, the referee]; I think he had a good performance but it’s a clear penalty. The referee made a mistake, which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation here against Man City – we were winning 2-1 and [the referee] Mr [Mark] Clattenburg didn’t see the penalty, [Claudio] Bravo on [Wayne] Rooney, and this one also. It’s a clear penalty and I feel sorry for Mr Oliver because he had a good performance. He’s a human being and tried his best; he was very committed to having a good match, which I think he had. He made one mistake, which was a crucial mistake for the result of the match. You can speak about anything you want. You can bring any football theory, you can bring the stats, the ball possession, you can bring everything you want, but like last season it is a huge penalty in the crucual moment of the game. But I also have to say I feel sorry for Michael Oliver because he had a good game, a very good game. The assistants the same. I think [Jon] Moss [the fourth official] came with the intention to make the perfect work which they almost did.”
OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE PERFORMANCE
“We did good things, we did bad things – we had a complete dedication to the match, with everybody trying to do their best. We know City are very good at keeping the ball possession, at keeping one of the full-backs inside. In this match they also had an extra man with the striker dropping back and then without the striker, having an extra man in midfield. Even if you try to press, it’s very difficult to recover the ball, so credit to them for that good quality they have.”
CITY GOALS WERE ‘EASY’
“They scored two very bad goals, two goals that were unbelievable to concede and when you conceded two goals like this, in a match of this dimension, you obviously feel bad. You will speak about what they did well and what they are good at but they scored two goals out of nothing, with rebounds – really, two easy goals.”
“The loss of time is very important. It is something that intelligent, creative players, they know how to do. It is the kind of things that I also want my players to do in similar circumstances and I would never criticise opponents to do this in a very intelligent way in the last part of the game. So well done in relation to that.”
IS THE TITLE RACE OVER?
“I don’t know but they [Manchester City] are a very good team. They are lucky; they have good decisions in their favour, but Tuesday is another day of the Premier League and I am sure all of us – Chelsea third and the others in fourth, fifth, sixth – I’m sure that everyone is going to fight for points and fight to reduce the distance, which is a normal thing in the fight for the championship. But of course, City’s [11-point] advantage is a very good one.”
‘WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT’
“It is a significant distance. I don’t know [if we can make up the points difference]. I know we can win on Wednesday [against Bournemouth]. Win, lose or draw, I know we can win on Wednesday and we are going to work and fight for it. That’s the only thing I say, match after match. And every match is a match where we are going to give everything with our qualities, with our problems – that is what we do all the time.”