Jose Mourinho has hit out at referee Craig Pawson for failing to spot a handball from Maya Yoshida in the first half of Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.
Jesse Lingard controlled a Paul Pogba pass into the box smartly and flicked the ball directly onto the outstretched hand of Yoshida, prompting enthusiastic calls from players and supporters for a spot-kick.
Pawson wasn’t interested, though, and the home side never really recovered, limping to yet another abysmal draw that leaves them third in the table.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, somewhat predictably pointed out that his side deserved a penalty.
Mourinho making a beeline for the referee at FT so predictable and pathetic. United shouldn’t need a penalty to beat the league’s 15th-placed side. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) December 30, 2017
Jose Mourinho on Yoshida's handball: 'One of the key points. Other key points were easy goals that we missed. Other key point was David save on Shane Long shot. But the clear, clear point, especially with a result 0-0, is a clear penalty that was not given.' #MUNSOU
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) December 30, 2017
Even Yoshida noted after the game that he got ‘lucky’ with that particular decision, but the entire fiasco completely misses the point.
This was a performance devoid of collective purpose, individual quality, composure in possession, or even any semblance of fight. It was like every player on the pitch was waiting for somebody else to produce that final touch to unlock the visitors, with the end result being a neurotic swirl of indecision that led to, well, nothing.
And when you look at Mourinho’s growing frustration on the sidelines and increasingly gloomy demeanour, you struggle to see a manager capable of lifting Man United out of this slump.