Jose Mourinho isn’t renowned for handing out praise after ending up on the losing side but he made an exception on Sunday.
His record now reads played one lost one with Manchester United in the Premier League at St James Park and his overall PL record at Newcastle is now played seven, lost four, drawn three and won none.
Jose Mourinho says that Newcastle’s players ‘gave their lives’ to keep the Man Utd players out and whilst that is obviously slightly over-dramatic, it was certainly a committed dispaly by all 14 players who took to the pitch in black and white.
Once again going into drama, Mourinho asked that Newcastle players took it as a compliment that they ‘fought like animals’.
We certainly saw a team performance where the 11 individuals gave far more as a collective, whereas you could argue that players such as Pogba, Lukaku and Sanchez, who all each cost as much as individuals as Newcastle’s whole side did, weren’t as effective as a group.
Rafa Benitez pulled it off and fair play to Jose Mourinho that this time he has taken it on the chin.
“Newcastle fought like animals.
“I hope they take that as a compliment.
“The gods of football were on their side and it wasn’t going to happen for us today.
“Newcastle gave what they have and what they don’t have, that is a beautiful thing in football.
“They fought for their point, a point is what they had in mind.
“We made a defensive mistake and when they are in front, they had only one thing in mind.
“They gave their lives to keep a clean sheet.
“It’s a lateral free kick, it is not even a lateral free-kick from a dangerous position, it is really far from the goal, clearly the positions were the players miss the challenge in the air.
“I remember clearly without television, just with my memory from the touchline, a Newcastle player jumping and two of my players looking at him and staying on the floor.
“So the guy won the ball in the air and then the second in the face of David de Gea.
“No complaints, I don’t like to complain about referees on this kind of situation.
“What I know is we missed the challenge in the air and, we missed the second ball, I coach my players, not the referees, I have to be more disappointed with my players for losing the challenge.
“We train, we work, we organise, the players have their individual jobs in situation in defence, the players know there’s responsibilities.
“I’m pretty sure that you already watch that goal on television a few times, I didn’t. I’m pretty sure that you did, so you know more than me and you know who lost the challenge in the air.
“So I think it’s better if you don’t put me in a position where I don’t criticise a player.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle United 1 Manchester United 0
Newcastle: Ritchie 65
Possession was Man Utd 64% Newcastle 36%
Total shots were Man Utd 13 Newcastle 10
Shots on target were Man Utd 6 Newcastle 3
Corners were Man Utd 10 Newcastle 0
Referee: Craig Pawson
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 84), Gayle (Joselu 80), Perez (Hayden 90+4)
Darlow, Manquillo, Murphy, Merino
Crowd: 52,309 (Man Utd 3,000)
(Alan Shearer gives his reaction to the win HERE)