Jose Mourinho has hailed the spirit and professionalism of his Manchester United players after a fantastic 2-1 victory against Premier League champions Chelsea.
The Portuguese needed a win from his side after rivals Liverpool leapfrogged them into second in the table yesterday with a resounding victory against West Ham United.
His players gave him that with a solid performance, if nothing special, to see off a side who dominated first-half proceedings.
“We beat a fantastic team,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “For some reason, they were the champions last season, for some reason they played the way they did against Barcelona. For some reason, they start the game so well.
“We beat a very good team and to beat a very good team you need to be organised but you also need to have a humble spirit where everybody works, everybody fights, everybody tries to follow a game plan.
“I repeat, we beat a very good team.”
Chelsea began well at Old Trafford, with striker Alvaro Morata hitting the post within the opening five minutes.
“They started very well and when they hit the post, I was looking at my players, what can we do, who can I blame, but it was such a lovely move, we couldn’t stop it,” Mourinho said.
“But we found a way to play against them, and we had a good control of Eden Hazard. Willian is an amazing player and he killed us with the goal. But we had more control of the game than them, without creating lots of chances.”
It’s a hugely important result for United at the start of a massive period of fixtures. The Reds face Liverpool, who are now third, at Old Trafford in a couple of weeks as well as having the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with Sevilla.