Jose Mourinho has expressed his frustration at the way Manchester United conceded in the second half during their 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United on Sunday.
Chris Smalling, who was already causing supporters to melt in fury with a dire performance, produced a truly awful dive inside his own half to hand the hosts a free kick.
The ball sailed to the far post and, for reasons that remain unclear, Paul Pogba refused to jump and Dwight Gayle was able to nudge the knock-down in Matt Richie’s direction and the midfielder duly slid the ball home.
And Mourinho, when asked about the goal, didn’t want to discuss the dive that led to the goal but insisted his side had to do better recovering the second ball.
Mourinho: “It’s more logical to complain about the mistake in the long ball. We missed the second ball. I coach my players. I have to be disappointed in my players losing that challenge.” #mufc
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) February 11, 2018
It was, in many ways, a microcosm of the 90 minutes overall: Smalling producing unnecessary blunders, Pogba clearly hampered by injury and completely absent as a result, Newcastle wanting it a bit more, and United ultimately drifting. Once again.
There were moments when, after Anthony Martial and then Alexis Sanchez went incredibly close, United could have pushed the knife in at St James’ Park and made their dominance count.
But they did the opposite, coasting through the game and allowing the hosts to deliver the ultimate sucker punch. And with Sevilla, Chelsea and Liverpool coming up, this needs to serve as a big lesson.