Premier League: Jose Mourinho at breaking point after Spurs thrash Man Utd

Tottenham maintain perfect start with 3-0 victory at Old Trafford

Jose Mourinho Manchester United
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
(Image credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Manchester United 0 Tottenham 3

It was agony at Old Trafford for Manchester United fans last night as their side were thrashed 3-0 by Tottenham.

It’s the first time that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has tasted victory at the Theatre of Dreams after four straight losses without scoring a goal. The win continues his perfect start to the season.

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The match was also Spurs’s biggest top-flight win at Old Trafford since a 4-1 victory in 1972.

Three-fingered salute

But whereas Spurs are only one of four clubs to have won their three opening matches, United have just one win to their name, representing their worst start to a league campaign for 25 years.

The pressure on Jose Mourinho is growing and he appears to be struggling to deal with it. There was talk of a “meltdown” last month during United’s pre-season tour to the United States. His bizarre behaviour in last night’s post-match press conference suggested a man nearing his breaking point.

“I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together,” said Mourinho, irritated by the criticism of his side. “Three for me and two for them.”

Having held up three fingers to emphasise his point, he then stormed out of the conference, muttering: “Respect, respect, respect, man.”

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Lukaku howler

But a man as experienced as Mourinho knows that in football management the past counts for little. It’s the present that matters and for him the here and now is turning into a nightmare.

United started well against Spurs and Romelu Lukaku should have put them ahead when he pounced on a loose backpass from Danny Rose, rounded Hugo Lloris, but put his angled shot just wide of the far post.

Harry’s game

Tottenham grew into the game and then exploded into life in the second half with three goals, the first coming on 50 minutes from the head of Harry Kane. Two minutes later Lucas Moura doubled the visitors’ advantage with a clinical finish from Christian Eriksen’s pass, and the Brazilian got his second of the night six minutes from time.

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“It is a massive victory for us and I am very proud of the performance,” said Pochettino, whose side last won their first three league games in 2009-10. “It is only the start of the season and we need to be consistent. We need to be realistic but want to keep pushing and building our fitness.”

Big mistake

Before last night’s match there was speculation as to whether Pochettino would select Hugo Lloris after the goalkeeper’s arrest for drink driving in the early hours of Friday morning. But the French World Cup winner was present and he has the backing of his manager.

“Hugo knows he made a big mistake,” said Pochettino. “We will support him, knowing it cannot be justified. He has apologised to fans, us, the whole country. He is punishing himself. He feels so bad.”

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Mourinho’s meltdown in words:

  • “We worked all week and from the tactical point of view we didn’t lose, but we lost the game.”
  • “We were so, so, so, so, so, so good and you want to try and transform this press conference into let’s blame the guy.”
  • “I am sorry. You have to tell me what is the most important thing because I don’t know.”
  • “In the first half zero corners, zero free kicks, on minute 50-something they had one corner and scored a goal, and you want, with that goal, you want to transform the story of the game.”
  • “Today I had the proof – the best judge in the football are the supporters.”
  • “A team that fights the way they did with the solidarity between the players, it is clear the team is united.”
  • “No, I don’t know my best back four.”

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