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Mourinho aims dig at ex-Manchester United boss

Mourinho aims dig at ex-Manchester United boss after Liverpool defeat

December 16, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Portuguese manager has traced the genesis of his side's predicament to the era of one of the club's former managers.

Jose Mourinho has fired a subtle dig at David Moyes by claiming that Manchester United's physicality issues started under the Scottish manager. The Portuguese manager saw his side fall to a humiliating 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield having failed to beat Valencia in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

A goal from Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri's brace extended Liverpool's unbeaten run in the league campaign while ensuring that the club maintained its position atop the table. On the other hand, Manchester United – having grabbed a consolation via Lingard – could not go any further than the sixth position it occupied prior to the kick-off of Sunday's game.

The Red Devils approached the match with a tall injury list with the likes of Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot and Chris Smalling all being recalled from the treatment table. The latter withdrew from the starting XI before the game commenced while Dalot was also substituted at halftime to accommodate Marouane Fellaini.

Following the defeat, Jose Mourinho resorted to a long rant to bemoan his side's ill-luck with injuries. The ex-Chelsea manager, who commended the overall strength and physicality of Klopp's men, then stressed that the plight of his current team started under David Moyes.

"First of all, we have lots of problems related to physicality, we have lots of players that I could consider injury problems, because some of our players are always injured and is not with me, was before me.

"If you look to the stats with Mr. Van Gaal and before Mr. Van Gaal with David, if you look to that period you have players that are permanently injured, when you are permanently injured, physicality is very difficult to get. Then there are qualities that a player has or doesn't have. You cannot improve, you cannot make them have.

"I give you an example: Robertson, Mane, Salah, Wijnaldum, Keita, Fabinho, they are physical players, on top of that they are good players technically, I also have lots of good players, technically, but we do not have many players with that intensity or physicality.

"So when the game has high levels of intensity is difficult for us. Our first 20 minutes was difficult for us, then when we had the ball and the tension went down, when the intensity went down, was easier for us to be in the game, we manage to have the ball and bring the game into, I would say, our side in the sense of now we are playing in the way we can. And these are our qualities.

"And you like to say sometimes is the manager's choice, you can compare my Porto team with Liverpool. The qualities of the players are there, was my best team in defensive transition, we lose the ball, we bite like mad dogs and recover the ball after two seconds.

"In Real Madrid I had my best team in direct counter-attack because I had young Di Maria, young Ronaldo, young Higuain and young Benzema, we killed everybody in defensive transition. And in Inter I had my best team in the low-block, people like Materazzi, Samuel, Lucio, Cordoba, in a low block, you can be there five hours and don't concede a goal, so players make teams play in a certain way."

Manchester United has conceded 29 goals in just 17 league appearance this season. The tally is one more than the club managed in the entirety of the 2017/2018 season.

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