Jose Mourinho has explained why Manchester United only mustered a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, pointing towards his side’s inability to convert their dominance on the ball into big wins at home.
This was United’s eighth draw in 12 games at Old Trafford, leaving them four points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, noted that his side suffered from an inability to kill Tony Pulis’ side off during the second half.
“If you ask me do I prefer to play West Brom here or go to their stadium, I prefer to play here, no doubts about it,” he said.
“But we need to kill opponents and you see the number of goals we score in relation to our production of football, our dominance in football and it’s a big contradiction.
“The number of goals we score at home, probably somebody that doesn’t know thinks we are a different team, we are a counter-attack team, waiting for the opponent’s mistake, we don’t push, we don’t have no vision and it’s completely the opposite.”
United, as is always the case, approached this game with a sense of purpose and drive, but you could tell they lacked something in midfield.
The absence of Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera – two important driving forces from deep – hit hard against a rigid West Brom side. Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini simply couldn’t provide that impetus from midfield that wingers like Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard so desperately crave. They were receiving the ball in awkward, often static positions, allowing the visitors to maintain their shape and keep the ball in front of them.
This is something that Pogba and Herrera, through their propulsive styles and desire to pass with an eye for getting in behind the back four, will hopefully reintroduce once they respectively return to action over the next few weeks.