It was a terrible, terrible 1-0 defeat for Manchester United as they made it three losses out of three away games to promoted sides, allowing Brighton to secure their Premier League safety with the win.
With Romelu Lukaku picking up an injury against Arsenal in last weekend’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, both Rashford and Martial started, with the former up front as a number 9.
Both were poor, and Mourinho didn’t name them, but clearly showed his frustration with the young duo.
‘I thought for some of them, the possibility to start the game, the possibility to give reasons to ones that are always critics of my decisions, [who ask] ‘Why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku?’” Mourinho asked.
“You have the answer [of] why always Lukaku. You have the answer.”
Mourinho was effectively hitting back at fans and journalists who have called for Rashford and Martial to be given more chances. They both failed to impress, with one moment from Rashford in particular where he dithered on the ball when a clear pass was available to Martial.
“Probably we are not as good individually as people think we are,” Mourinho said, slamming his own players who deserve public criticism after woeful attitudes on Friday evening.
“And I keep saying, if we manage to finish second, its great. It’s more than great. But now we need four points. And we must try to get it.”
Mourinho is right to criticise his players. It’s been five years, or less for certain individuals, of terrible performances, despite success in cups and improvements in results.
United may finish 2nd, but need significant changes in the squad and attitude. Mourinho will have to be ruthless.