Jose Mourinho explains Manchester United’s decision to defend late on in 1-0 win vs Southampton

by Harry Robinson

José Mourinho singled out missed chances from Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera as Manchester United were forced to defend and sit back in a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Southampton.

Lukaku scored the only goal of the game in the 20th-minute to give Man United a valuable three points at St. Mary’s, but he and Herrera could have made it a far more comfortable Saturday afternoon for the Reds.

Mourinho lamented the missed chances, having also defended his decision to bring on defenders late on during the game and move to a five-man defence.

“Our team had two enormous chances to kill the game with Romelu and Herrera, this put us in a position where we needed to defend,” Mourinho said after the victory.

Mourinho has consistently shown that he will allow his United players to attack with fluidity and freedom in the second halves of the games, and particularly in the last 10 minutes.

However, that appears to only be when United are in a comfortable position, and are relatively unthreatened by the opposition.

Against Southampton, that was certainly not the case and Mourinho sacrificed attackers Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford for Chris Smalling and Daley Blind.

United fans will accept one ‘defensive’ performance from the Portuguese after seeing their team win 4-0 three times already this season.

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