Jose Mourinho: Stoke draw was Manchester United’s best performance of the season

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has insisted that the 1-1 draw at home to Stoke was Manchester United’s best performance of the season.

The home side begun in rip-roaring fashion, peppering Lee Grant’s goal with reckless abandon, but somehow went into the break without a goal.

Anthony Martial‘s goal after 69th minutes precipitated further chances for Mourinho’s men, but the visitors, practically out of nowhere, found a late equaliser through Joe Allen.

Speaking after the game, Mourinho declared that, despite the disappointing result, this was United’s strongest performance of the season so far.

“It’s simple – the best Manchester United performance of the season,” he said.

“It could have been 3-0 or 4-0 at half-time and six or seven at the end of the game. I can’t believe the result is 1-1. It was very undeserved.

“I repeat – it was a much better performance than against Leicester because the result made more than the performance and today was exactly the opposite.”

As United fans recover from the late sucker-punch served by Mark Hughes’ side and look ahead to a bleak international break, they’ll realise that this was an encouraging performance.

With Ander Herrera at the base of midfield, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata had license to run riot in the middle, whilst Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial all produced lively displays, linking up intelligently on several occasions. But any positive aspect of United game was, of course, largely backgrounded by a monumental lack of composure in front of goal, combined with some unlikely heroics from goalkeeper Lee Grant.

Nine times out of ten, United would have steamed into a four goal half time lead. This time around, though, the footballing gods had other ideas.

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