Manchester Utd boss Jose Mourinho opted to delegate his media duties to assistant Rui Faria after being banished to the stands in the clash with Burnley.
Mourinho was not in the dugout or on the touchline after the interval and having taken a seat in the front row alongside supporters, he eventually relocated to the directors’ box, from where he saw midfielder Ander Herrera sent off as United failed to beat a Tom Heaton-inspired Burnley.
Mourinho had been furious when referee Mark Clattenburg turned down Matteo Darmian’s penalty appeal for a Jon Flanagan challenge just prior to the half-time whistle and his protestations may have accounted for the subsequent removal from the bench.
The United boss, who was this week charged by the Football Association for comments made about referee Anthony Taylor, was seen passing notes down to his coaching team during the last 45 minutes but it was left to Faria to field questions on what occurred with Mourinho.
“To be fair I don’t know and I don’t think it’s very important,” he replied. “What is important is what the referee will write in his report. Apart from that, I can’t give you more details. It happened with them.”
Herrera had picked up a second yellow card for a challenge on midfielder Dean Marney in the second period, which seemed to be a result of a slip rather than indicative of an malice, and Faria’s view was laced with sarcasm.
“About that, I just want to say, fantastic work from the referee,” he responded.
United rained in 37 efforts in total but were unable to find a way past their former player Heaton, who defied Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a star-jump stop reminiscent of the ones that became Peter Schmeichel’s trademark at this ground.
Captain for the day Juan Mata hit a post and Ibrahimovic spurned a glorious opening at the death as United dropped another two points at home following the draw with Stoke earlier this month.
“For sure Jose is happy,” Faria said.
“I am not here to say we are very happy with players’ performances if that wasn’t the feeling from all of this. We tried and we created many chances, their goalkeeper was the best player on the pitch. Things didn’t happen, I believe better days will come.”
Clarets manager Sean Dyche was unaware his counterpart was not in the vicinity during the second half and expressed sympathy for Clattenburg at Herrera’s dismissal.
“I thought the sending off was hard on the referee and the player,” Dyche said.
“It looked like he may have slipped accidently as he made the challenge. I think that’s tough for the referee, whether he slipped or did the challenge, it’s a tough call.”
It was the first point the east Lancashire side had picked up on their travels this term and it owed much to Heaton’s brilliance, although his manager cheekily attempted to downplay the incredible stop from Ibrahimovic.
“I think he’s just spread himself, hasn’t he,” former defender Dyche said. “That’s your job, isn’t it? Have you seen the state of my head? I got run and hit in the face all the time; it’s part of your job!”