Jamie Carragher has questioned whether Manchester United have the ability to play offensively in big games after the Reds’ 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday evening.
Man United have been slammed by certain sections of the media in the last month for defensive performances in big games against Liverpool in a 0-0 draw at Anfield and against Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-0 win.
Mourinho went for it at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea with two attackers in Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford while the attitude and intensity of the Reds was notable in the first half.
“There’s been criticism for Man United’s way of playing in big games and maybe people may think United were a little bit more open, more offensive, certainly in that first 15 minutes,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.
“But are they good enough to play that offensively against the top teams?
“Because I never really felt like Man United were going to score, but I always felt like they were going to concede.
“Now, this is the best defensive team in the league, but is that because they have good defenders or because they play defensively? Now they don’t play defensively in the games they should win, but in those big games.
“If United play an open game are they actually good enough, so should Mourinho play a negative game in the big games, because that’s the way they win points?”
While Carragher hasn’t been one of the collection of pundits or journalists or ex-players taking the opportunity to slam Mourinho for his defensive tactics in big games, the Portuguese will be frustrated if those same journalists now criticise his tactics in this game.
Mourinho will now consider whether going for it was the wrong decision, but sitting back against Chelsea in the final stages of the first half and early stages of the second half also proved difficult to handle.