Jose Mourinho was in a notably sour mood following Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Stoke City on Saturday night, noting the home side only played for a point.
Man United dominated the first half, with Marcus Rashford going close on several occasions, but it was Stoke’s Jean-Eric Choupo-Moting who broke the deadlock, only for the teenager – somewhat inadvertently – to equalise on the cusp of half time.
The visitors pressed hard in the second half and found their reward through Romelu Lukaku’s strike from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass, but Phil Jones‘ flimsiness at the back allowed Choupo-Moting to grab his second of the game.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to point out which team displayed more motivation towards the latter stages.
The 54-year-old has used this argument before and it doesn’t really work. So what if a mid-table side holds on for a draw against the league leaders?
But he was right to point out United’s desire to breach Stoke’s back four whenever possible. Mourinho’s men created numerous openings and, crucially, looked capable of opening up the home side whenever they went forward. They claimed two good goals and could have had more, with Jack Butland making an astonishing injury time save.
What let United down was not their attacking impetus, but rather a complete lack of regimentation at the back at vital moments.