Manchester United manager José Mourinho has all but admitted defeat in the Premier League title race. Manchester United have fallen 11 points behind Manchester City in the league table. Manchester City recorded a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford that left the United manager fuming. He complained at length that Ander Herrera should have been awarded a penalty. In the second-half, there was an incident that led to the midfielder being booked for diving.
Mourinho said “I think they are a very good team, they are lucky, they have decisions in their favour. My first reaction is that I feel sorry for Michael Oliver. The referee is a human being and he tried his best. He was very committed to have a good match, which I think he had, but made one mistake, which was a crucial mistake.”
Mourinho admitted that the Premier League title race was out of his and United’s hands. But he was full of praise for their neighbours. He said “Probably, yes. Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them.”
However, Pep Guardiola played his cards a little more cautiously. He said that it was still too early for him to say the same. But the numbers don’t lie, City have now won 14 league fixtures in a row. The victorious manager, praised his team for adopting Barcelona’s approach of football. Regarding Mourinho’s complaints about the penalty incident, he had a different take. According to the City manager,It was just Mourinho being himself and he was accustomed to it from their time as rival managers in Spain.
Guardiola said, “We won because we were better in every department. Last season it was the same – we won here and it [for Mourinho] was the referee. Today as well. Yesterday he spoke about the referee. We are an honest team. When a team has the courage to have 65 to 70 or 75% ball-possession it is because it wants to try to play and that is what we have done. We are clear, we are open and we want to attack.”
He said that people doubted them. They said that the Barcelona could not be attempted in England. But City proved that it is possible and they did it in style. Guardiola also said, “I’m happy to go to Stamford Bridge and now Old Trafford and to beat them in this way. But we are still in December. If we have 11 points [as a lead] when we play the second derby in April then maybe I will tell you that we have the title. This win means a lot in the way we played for our confidence but in three days we go to Swansea in the winter time. We are going to face a lot of difficulties. In December it’s impossible to be champions but it is good for us.”
Guardiola rubbished Mourinho’s pre-match accusations that City players can be guilty of diving – “It’s not true that my players go down easily, that is not an argument I believe”. The only downside for City was another injury to Vincent Kompany. “Vinnie is always like this,” Guardiola said. “Unfortunately we can’t count on him for a long time”. City have one hand on the cup in their Premier League title race.