Jose Mourinho has fired a dig at Liverpool after Manchester United weathered a late scare to beat Watford 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side raced into a 3-0 lead at Sevilla last week and looked set to progress to the knockout phases, only to capitulate in the second half and concede three goals of their own.
Man United looked to be in danger of mimicking their rivals at Vicarage Road when late goals from Troy Deeney and Abdoulaye Doucore set up a potentially agonising finish, but Jesse Lingard‘s superb solo effort put the game to bed in emphatic fashion.
Speaking soon after the game, Mourinho couldn’t help reminding the watching world of the way Liverpool crumbled after going three goals up.
“Watford gave us a couple of minutes where they felt anything could happen,” he said. “This is football. Last week, Borussia Dortmund-Schalke, 4-0, 4-4.”
“A couple of weeks ago, Liverpool (at Sevilla), 3-0, 3-3. That’s football.”
Surrendering a three goal lead is a more scathing outcome than most forms of defeat, I’d say. To have that much control and dominance over an opponent before throwing the game away so carelessly is a worse indictment of a team’s mental fortitude than being pipped to a 2-1 defeat.
And while United can take confidence from scoring four goals in a game once again this season, they ought to be wary of the fact that, for a few moments, they looked Jurgen Klopp-esque: unstable, tentative on the ball, lacking direction, seemingly waiting for the worst to happen.
Their sheer quality prevailed in the end, but Mourinho would have wanted to see his side match what Manchester City did at Vicarage Road earlier this season rather than start to mirror their leaky rivals. They certainly had enough chances to do exactly that.