Alan Shearer has praised Jose Mourinho’s game management in Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory.
Goals either side of half-time secured Man United a spot in the Cup final at the end of the season, coming from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.
Shearer told BBC that he thought the praise for that should fall at Jose Mourinho’s feet.
“I thought United were brilliant in the second half,” Shearer said in the immediate aftermath of Saturday evening’s match.
“I thought they managed the game superbly well, led from the touchline.
“The manager knew what he had to do – he had to stop Harry Kane and he never had a kick in that second half.”
Mourinho preserved the midweek defensive partnership of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, to many people’s surprise.
The Portuguese had brought Jones back into the side after some time out with injury to reunite the two English defenders, and other than a shaky first 20 minutes, which engulfed the whole of the United side and not just the central defensive pairing, they were fantastic.
Kane was kept quiet, and Christian Eriksen was Spurs’ main threat, a player who the midfield of United were responsible for tackling. When he did breach Mourinho’s midfield, Jones and Smalling dealt with him well.
Mourinho deserves credit for his team selection, where he kept faith in Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba, both of whom were fantastic, with the former earning the Man of the Match award.