José Mourinho lamented the “ridiculous” defensive errors that condemned his Manchester United team to a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham. The manager watched in horror as his players made what he totted up as four separate lapses in the opening 11 seconds to concede from the kick-off to Christian Eriksen.
The second goal was a personal horror show for Phil Jones, as he got his feet into a tangle and hammered Kieran Trippier’s low cross into his own net.
Tottenham pressed ferociously throughout the game and they could reflect on one of the finest performances under Mauricio Pochettino. For Mourinho and Alexis Sánchez, who made his first Premier League appearance for United, it was an ordeal.
I don’t think it’s very normal to concede a goal [at the start] like we did,” Mourinho said. “After the kick-off, it’s ridiculous. It is especially ridiculous because the players – they watch it before, we analyse opponents and work on opponents’ dynamics and routines.
“We don’t press the ball. One mistake. We don’t win the ball in the air. Second mistake. We don’t win the second ball on the ground. Third mistake. We don’t cover inside, the full-back inside, when Eriksen comes. Four mistakes. Four mistakes and you are losing 1-0 against a good team. The second goal, I don’t say ridiculous, I just say unlucky.”
Mourinho introduced Marouane Fellaini in the 63rd minute only to withdraw him seven minutes later. He said the midfielder had suffered a lateral knee ligament injury for the third time.
On Sánchez, who struggled in the face of some tough Tottenham challenges, Mourinho added: “He worked hard but the game was not for him. In the second half, I tried to give him a position where he could be more close to Romelu Lukaku but then he felt the need to drop too much to try to organise.”
Pochettino said: “We prepared to play in the opposite half from the first whistle. We tried to be aggressive, to put pressure on them, to dominate. I’m happy we scored so early. The performance was fantastic.”