What Jose Mourinho told Ander Herrera and Ashley Young after equaliser against Tottenham Hotspur

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United had just equalised in their FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham Hotspur through Alexis Sanchez but Jose Mourinho was in no mood to celebrate.

Instead, he called over Ashley Young, his mouthpiece on the pitch, and then Ander Herrera while Antonio Valencia, Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling all walked straight back into position.

What followed for the next 70 minutes was a performance that saw Man United take the lead and assume control of the encounter in brilliantly Mourinho-esque fashion.

A source close to the Portuguese, as revealed by the Daily Star, claimed that Mourinho called Herrera and Young over to ensure United stopped affording Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen – both of which had combined for Spurs’ opener – the same amount of space.

“He spoke to them about the space Herrera and Nemanja Matic were giving Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen,” he said.

This was a significant blow to those, whether as journalists or mere punters, who maintain that Mourinho has lost his dressing room – that players are no longer listening to him in the way they did before.

The 20 minute mark and what happened after was visual proof of the opposite. Mourinho essentially lost his rag, told Herrera and Pogba to get their act together, and watched on as his players, as instructed, kept that space between midfield and defence tight, depriving Spurs of space to breathe and eventually seeing them off.

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