Despite the slippery ground at Old Trafford, a superb second-half strike from substitute Anthony Martial secured a 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, and Jose Mourinho says it was a good day for his team, adding that the victory was well-deserved.
Martial scored at the 81st minute to break the deadlock against an equally strong side.
Speaking at a post-match conference, Mourinho said: “I think we got what we deserved. It was a difficult match that could have been a draw between two big teams. I think both were trying to win but both knew that they opponent was strong. So try to win but with one eye on the thief.”
The 54-year-old tactician praised his team’s performance, and stressed that their attitude in such a difficult match deserved commendations.
The Red Devils were berated after their lackluster performance against a low-rated Huddersfield which ended 2-1 on 21 October.
“I think the only team that had opportunities was us, apart from their Alli chance. We controlled them very well and I think we had more chances to win the match than they had,” the Portuguese continued. “But it was a big football match, tactically difficult for both teams and tactically difficult for the players.”
The Special One has harshly criticized Premier League referees in the past. To instill discipline in him, the FA banned Mourinho from attending matches and ordered him to pay some outrageous fines, so he learned his lessons.
“Good referee!” Mou said during the interview. “Just one yellow card in a match that was strong, aggressive, and every fifty-fifty was like the last challenge of their lives.”
The former Chelsea coach explained that Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino used the same tactics as he did – trying to refresh his attacking options by bringing in Sissoko and Son for Llorente and Dembele – without changing the structure because they both wanted a win.
“…I think we were both trying to win, but we knew that one defensive mistake and we could lose the match, which happened to them,” Mourinho said. “But I think that was a consequence of us pushing a little bit more, especially in the second half.”
He continued: “In the beginning of the game we were really strong, but after 15-20 minutes balance came to the match. And then in the second half, we had the wind in our favor and tried to get behind them.
“We created more problems for them with Rashford’s movement. Then when he was tired we brought Martial who is better running with the ball. We tried and I think we deserved the victory.”