Jose Mourinho lamented the 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal – and branded his Manchester United side the ‘unluckiest team in the Premier League’.
United were leading thanks to Juan Mata’s 69th-minute strike before Olivier Giroud scored a late header to earn the Gunners a scarcely-deserved 1-1 draw.
Speaking to Match of the Day after the match, Mourinho said: “It was another ‘defeat’. If you have a bad game, or an equal game against a very good team like Arsenal, you draw it is not a drama or a bad result because it is normal between two teams.
But when [David] De Gea was on holidays, when [Petr] Cech made two or three very good saves or when you miss two or three very good chances and you are in total control then the concede late, then the feeling is like a defeat.”
Mourinho was asked if United should have had a penalty in the first half when Antonio Valencia went down in the area under a challenge from Nacho Monreal, but the Red Devils boss gave a diplomatic reply – despite appearing to vent his disbelief on the touchline at the time.
“My feelings are that I know if it was a penalty or not but I don’t want to speak about it because the referee is good,” he said. “He always give you a positive feeling. He doesn’t want to be the man of the match. He tries to do his best.
“I am proud of the performance and the work we are doing. I can only feel pride but I am obviously very sad for the players and the fans. The feeling is good. I know Man Utd won some matches at home last season and some people were leaving 10 minutes before. Now people are just unhappy with the result but the people know the direction we are going. The reality is we had these three matches at home where we lost six points.”
Mourinho’s reaction to the decision not to give United a penalty. pic.twitter.com/UD4kz4Hssa
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) November 19, 2016
The same question was put to Mourinho by Sky Sports and he said: “I don’t want to speak about it. I have a very good feeling with Andre Mariner. He is the kind of referee who if he make mistakes against my team there is no intention.
“He doesn’t want to be the star of the game, he is a good referee. I don’t want to say if it is a mistake or not, I know because I saw the video, but I don’t want to say because he is a good referee.”
Mourinho was keen to stress how United were unlucky not to claim all three points and continued: “Of course it is two points dropped. We were the best team by far. They had no chances to win.
“They could not be Arsenal the way they normally play football. We were phenomenal defensively. The way we pressed and the way we controlled their counter attacks. Then when we had the ball we were very comfortable. We scored a fantastic goal, we had chances to win the game and then the only time they go there and the only time we had a situation we could not resolve they scored. They are the lucky ones and we are the unlucky ones.
“The team played very well. This team at the moment is the unluckiest team in the Premier League. That is the reality. The team is playing well. Phil Jones played more matches this season than the past three seasons I think. I don’t remember him playing two matches consecutively and big matches.
“I am happy with the work and the guys and I am super happy with the fans. They are amazing. They know to be fair and applaud a team that has dropped two points.”