Marouane Fellaini’s stoppage-time effort sealed Manchester United’s place in the Champions League last 16 after they beat Young Boys 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho let his pent-up anger out on some water bottle holders after dreadful United rode their luck to progress in the competition.
With Juventus beating Valencia in the other Group H match, United knew victory against the Swiss champions – a side they beat 3-0 in Switzerland – would have secured progress with a match to spare.
But Mourinho’s underperforming side lacked creativity, cohesion and confidence against a Young Boys side displaying all those characteristics, only for Fellaini to secure a lucky 1-0 win and progress to the knockout phase in stoppage time.
The United manager’s frustration had been growing throughout the match and his angry celebration said it all as he kicked one water bottle carrier and threw another into the floor.
Victory meant United head to Valencia next month with progress assured, but Tuesday’s performance raises more questions than answers given their tepid response to Saturday’s goalless draw with struggling Crystal Palace.
Mourinho called into question some of his players’ “heart” and desire after that match, so his decision to drop Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba to the bench raised eyebrows almost as much as his decision to omit Alexis Sanchez entirely.
Mourinho bristled when quizzed about that selection before kick-off and pointed to onlookers “always asking” him to play Marcus Rashford – a player who missed a fine chance in the opening minutes and numerous more over the course of the night.
The United manager’s exasperation was clear and only increased as the match wore on, with Fellaini eventually securing a late win much to the relief of his manager and the Old Trafford faithful.
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