Jose Mourinho has revealed how Manchester United mastered a magical 3-2 come back against Newcastle United at the weekend.
The Reds started the game in shocking fashion. Not for the first time this season, Man United conceded two goals in quick succession. By the 11th minute, Mourinho’s side were two goals behind to a Newcastle team who had scored only four goals prior to Saturday’s match.
It was the third time this season that United had gifted two goals in three minutes, having done the same against Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur in August.
Mourinho’s substitutions and tactical tweaks made a difference after half-time and Juan Mata’s accurate 70th-minute free-kick goal sparked a come back as Old Trafford found its voice. The Portuguese coach was under huge pressure going into the game with reports that he would be sacked after the game, but was delighted with his players’ attitude in the second half.
“In half-time, we opened our hearts,” Mourinho explained to told MUTV.
“We spoke about tactical changes for two minutes and we spoke for eight minutes about other things that I thought, ‘let the players a little bit more free to face the-half’ and then 3-2. Amazing.
“The result is fantastic and it was something we needed. Even without the victory I would leave the stadium with pride because of what the boys did or tried to do.
“I have said for many years, you can lose matches but cannot lose your dignity or pride and that it’s not about the manager or the players, it’s about the club and the fans. And when you play for a certain club, it doesn’t matter if it’s a giant club like Manchester United or any other club, you have to give everything.
“You can win, you can lose, but you must always be there and especially in the second-half in very difficult circumstances, the players gave absolutely everything and I am very happy with this result. But even without this result I would have a good feeling towards my players.”
Luke Shaw spoke about how Mourinho gave the players a ‘kick up the a*se’ during the break while others noted the fact that Mourinho and his players spoke about non-football matters. The attitude was completely different in the second half and one not seen from United all season.
The players have looked woeful both in terms of their quality and their attitude, and the second half performance showed a different side to this United team. It was fantastic, and it has to continue from now on.