Phil Jones has claimed that Manchester United could be suffering from a lack of concentration or fatigue following their 1-1 draw with Everton in the Premier League.
Man United were on the brink of closing out an important win, with Jones forming the heart of a resolute back line, only for Marouane Fellaini to give away a stupid penalty in the 89th minute.
Jones, speaking after the game, pointed towards the side’s lack of focus and tiredness when asked to explain Everton’s late equaliser.
“I think we controlled the game from the start to the 60th minute,” Jones said.
“We maybe didn’t create as many chances as recent games.
“Maybe it’s a lack of concentration or fatigue, but it’s costing us points. That’s four or five games where we have dominated but not won.
“Everton is a difficult place to come, but we were resilient up until we gave the penalty. The manager has shown a lot of confidence in me and it’s nice. But at the moment it’s about getting results.”
Mourinho’s men adopted a notably different approach to the one employed in games against Stoke City, Burnley, Arsenal and West Ham United. What United fans saw at Goodison Park was a sturdier, more Mourinho-esque outfit. The plan was simple: be ruthless in front of goal and hold firm at the back.
And for 89 minutes the visiting side religiously stuck to the script: the front four, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic as its competent spearhead, worked as a unit; the back-four remained compact all afternoon, offering Everton – and the dangerous Romelu Lukaku – practically nothing in front of goal.
But then, rather crucially, came Fellaini’s gargantuan late error, making all the good work that had come before seem pointless. That said, United fans can be encouraged by a performance hallmarked by solidity, and will hope that Mourinho doesn’t hand Fellaini another chance to jeopardise things for some time.