Jose Mourinho Blaims United Players, Referee After Derby Loss

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has questioned the abilities of his players following loss to city rivals, Manchester city.

The Portuguese boss known for his radical nature when airing his opinions has come out to express his disappointment on some of his players after an unimpressive performance against Guardiola’s City side in the early kick-off of Premier League matches on Saturday.

Mourinho said: “I didn’t change after 20 minutes because I didn’t want to destroy the players, I didn’t want to make three changes at half-time, but if it was a sport with a free number of changes I would have done it after 20 minutes. I made a couple of decisions [with the starting lineup] because I thought the individual qualities of certain players would give me what I wanted. But I didn’t get it.

“But it is not just about them. We lost the ball very easily. Even our central defenders [Eric Bailly and Daley Blind], who were top-class until today, lost easy balls. What I told them at half-time was: ‘For some of you, it looks like you are trying to do what I told you not to do.’ I had told the players 20 times never to play a first-station ball – ‘never, because they [City] want to press, so never do that’ – and they did it 20 times.

“I think some of the boys felt the dimension of the game. Everything around the game – the derby, the big game, Man United, Man City, the focus, the attention. Some of the guys, they felt it. But it had nothing to do with inexperience or age because we have the kid [Marcus Rashford] in the second half and the kid looked like he was playing in the under-18s against Salford City. It’s about the individual and how everyone reacts to the dimension of the occasion in different ways. It’s difficult to predict.”

The United boss also criticised referee Mark Clattenburg for not awarding his team a penalty against Claudio Bravo after the City goalie dived into a challenge on Wayne Rooney in the early minutes of the second half.

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