Chris Smalling reveals what Jose Mourinho said to his players at half time against Tottenham Hotspur

by Leo Nieboer

Chris Smalling revealed that Jose Mourinho reminded his Manchester United players of their capacity to deliver in big games at half time during their 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Mourinho’s men initially struggled to cope with Tottenham’s tempo going forward and fell behind early on after Christian Eriksen crossed for Dele Alli to tap in.

But United recovered well, with Paul Pogba brilliantly setting up Alexis Sanchez to equalise, before putting in a controlled, confident second half performance which saw Ander Herrera net the winner.

And Smalling, speaking moments after the full-time whistle, noted that Mourinho told his players to stick to the game plan and remember that they had won these types of games before.

Mauricio Pochettino plays wonderful football at times, but in the heat of the FA Cup semi-final cauldron, in a game most expected Spurs – blessed with supposed home advantage – to win, he was taught a lesson by a man who cares about winning.

This was, funnily enough, a vivid demonstration of ‘football heritage’: Spurs, having not been in an FA Cup final since 1991, crumbled when silverware was on the line, while United, now in their third final in two seasons, comfortably steered to victory under their – whilst not perfect – ruthless manager.

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