Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

Manchester United 'deserved to win', admits Jose Mourinho after first defeat as Tottenham manager

Two goals from Marcus Rashford earned the home side three points at Old Trafford

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho admitted former club Manchester United "deserved to win" Wednesday night's Premier League encounter as the Portuguese suffered his first defeat with his new club on his return to his old one.

Two goals from Marcus Rashford, the second from the penalty spot, either side of Dele Alli's equaliser earned United all three points at Old Trafford. The win moves United up to sixth in the standings, while Tottenham drop to eighth having won both previous league games since Mourinho took charge.

"I think they deserved the victory by their first half. We didn’t start well at all," said Mourinho, whose side fell behind to a sixth-minute goal from Rashford.

"I think for the first 30 minutes they were the best team, and I think because of that, for this strong 30 minutes where we were not there, and also because of the way we conceded the second goal, I think they deserved to win."

United have only won five of their 15 league games so far this season, but Mourinho believes they have performed best against the better sides.

"United results against the best teams this season have been good. Chelsea, Liverpool, Leicester," he said. "For the way they play it is easier for them. They are not afraid to have a defensive approach. It is easier for them against better teams, against teams who want more of the ball."

The Portuguese, sacked by United one year ago after two and a half seasons in charge, had plenty of praise for his former forward Rashford, who has found form in recent weeks, with six goals in his past seven league games.

"When he plays from the left he is really dangerous and I knew that and gave the players the best information about it. His first goal is a typical Rashford goal coming on the inside. Our boys knew that clearly," he said.

Solskjaer agreed with his predecessor and has attributed the England international's hot streak to enjoying himself on the pitch.

"It's the best he’s had under me. He was mature, strong against good Premier League players," the Norwegian said.

"It’s like he was back on the playground or in the back garden. We want them to have fun, there’s nothing dangerous out there - just 75,00 people, wanting to see the best," he said.

"The three points are massive for us. We’ve had too many draws this season and given too many points away from winning positions," Solskjaer added.

"We’ve made decisions that we had to and we’re looking to build this club to be better again and I can’t think short-term when I’m trying to do that," he said.

"When we turn the corner and win three or four games on the run, they will get that Man United feeling again."

Updated: December 5, 2019 08:57 AM

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