Jose Mourinho has given his thoughts after Manchester United succumbed to their first pre-season tour defeat against Barcelona on Wednesday night.
The deadly attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez ran riot against a shaky Man United defence and eventually took the lead through Neymar, with David de Gea making a number of important saves.
Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford were sharp going forward but United, especially in the second half, lacked the necessary composure in the final third to forge an equaliser.
But Mourinho, speaking to MUTV after the game, was quick to note that suffering defeat in pre-season is an important thing.
“It would be very bad to leave without a defeat. So the defeat is good. We did some very good things and some very bad things.
“The good things we will keep, we won’t.”
The 54-year-old makes a good point here. United, after all, claimed six straight wins during their first pre-season under Louis van Gaal, luring some into thinking that the Dutchman had created some sort of uniquely unbreakable unit, only to be ripped apart by Swansea – Garry Monk’s Swansea – on the first day of the season.
In fact, while that first half was probably the least enjoyable 45 minutes of this tour for a United fan, Mourinho will undoubtedly point to them as the most important. They received a footballing lesson from a technically superior team during that opening period and will, as a result, feel stronger and indeed more prepared for what lies ahead in less than three weeks time.