Jose Mourinho has given his thoughts following Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, hailing his side for what was a ‘solid’ display.
The visitors lacked fluidity during the opening stages, unable to thread moves together, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his 28th goal of the season after 30 minutes with a thunderous drive into the bottom corner.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan then put the result beyond doubt with a goal just seconds after the restart, creating something of a ‘training exercise’ feel to the game, before Marcus Rashford netted a third as injury time approached.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, praised his players for holding their nerve during what was a must win game.
“The result was good,” he said. “We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won, they left us in a position of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ It was ‘yes'”
“[The game] was open at 0-0. We were in control without danger. We were playing quite compact and solid. You need these players to break it. Every team has a couple of them. Zlatan did that. We felt the game was in our pocket. In this beautiful weather the game was played at a more slow intensity.
“We got three points and it was a solid display. It was against a team that is sad, it’s normal. Against a team that is sad, if you score before then it’s difficult for them to react. You could feel the negative feeling around the team. That is felt with a team close to relegation.”
It goes without saying that Man United will face bigger tests in the future. Mkhitaryan’s goal came off the back of a wonderfully worked move, but it was, above anything, an illustration of the gloom currently encircling Sunderland’s season.
They could have come out fighting with a ‘nothing to lose’ mentality, but they only managed to watch on haplessly as United killed the game after less than a minute without even touching the ball. David Moyes has, not for the first time, sucked the life out this club.
This was the perfect kind of second half for Mourinho’s men ahead of their trip to Anderlecht in midweek: completely dominant, played in third gear, and capped off by goals from two players that Mourinho, following the 1-1 draw with Everton, had called on to improve their tally in front of goal over the next month or so.