Chelsea squeezed out a 2-1 win against Newcastle on Sunday, but it took a late own goal by DeAndre Yedlin for the Blues to earn maximum points as Rafa Benitez chose to pack it in on his defensive end.
Afterward, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri claimed that the strategy was a surprising one from his perspective.
“The match has been maybe more difficult because in Italy I’ve never seen Rafa (Benitez) play with five defenders. And so, so low, so compact,” Sarri said.
See Sarri’s full comments in the video below.
The Portuguese coach has found himself as the subject of heavy attention following an uneventful summer transfer window for the club which has reportedly strained his relationship with the United hierarchy including chief executive Ed Woodward.
All these problems have been further compounded by United’s not-so-rosy start to their Premier League campaign which saw them fall to a 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion last week.
Despite this storm of events leading up to the clash against Tottenham at Old Trafford, Mourinho thanked the club’s supporters for their show of faith as he reiterated his commitment as a ‘club man’.
“The supporters were fantastic in both matches,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by AFP.
“Not for me, for the team which is the only thing that matters. In my career I was never selfish and thinking about myself, I was always a club man.
“That’s what I am. I am really happy when the supporters they support the team. Against Leicester, you can say in a normal situation because the team was playing well and was winning.
“But to be supportive of the team against Brighton, where we didn’t play well and lost the match, it gives you a fantastic feeling.
“I hope that feeling, the players also feel it and the players they are ready to give them everything they have.”
When asked if he was frustrated by United’s defeat to Brighton, Mourinho replied: “No, it is not a frustration because it would also be a frustration if we win every match against the non top-six team and don’t win against the top six, that would also be a frustration.
“We want to win all the time. We want to play well all the time. We don’t want to make mistakes. That is what you always want.
“We want a winning style. Don’t make defensive mistakes. Be dominant. Chances, score goals and go home with the three points.”
Taking umbrage at the media’s coverage of United’s summer transfer dealings, the Portuguese refused to directly answer if he was satisfied with his squad for the season.
“You know my answer,” said Mourinho.
“I do not need to answer because I do not even know sometimes why I am here because you know everything. During the week it looks like you show that you know everything then I come here and you ask me questions. It’s a bit strange,” he added.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says Jose Mourinho is an inspiration despite his current frustrations at Manchester United as he prepares his side for Monday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
United have had a turbulent start to the new season, with Mourinho appearing to be at odds with the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and French World Cup winner Paul Pogba.
Mourinho will be desperate to get United back on track after a 3-2 defeat to Brighton but the game is also important for Spurs as they look to improve on a generally poor away record against their biggest rivals under Pochettino.
Despite Mourinho’s travails, his opposite number at Spurs, who has two wins out of two games so far this season, still holds the utmost respect for the man who has won multiple trophies during a glittering managerial career.
Asked what he has learned from Mourinho, Pochettino said: “A lot of things. I think for every single manager that is younger than him he was the inspirational manager.
“Of course he is an unbelievable manager and of course the circumstances that happen with myself and happen with different managers is always going to be up and down. He has been inspirational — but I am younger than him.”
If Mourinho had had his way this summer, defender Toby Alderweireld could have been featuring for United against Spurs.
But despite strong reported interest, a bid was never made and the Belgian has so far stayed at Spurs, playing 90 minutes against Fulham last week.
Alderweireld’s future has been a constant source of speculation ever since he failed to agree a new deal and Pochettino did not commit to whether he will be playing at Old Trafford.
“This season is a challenge, a completely different challenge for us, because it’s only three weeks that the players arrive from the World Cup and are in training,” he said.
“Always you need six or seven weeks to start to compete in a normal season, that is why sometimes you need to be careful how they react after the effort of 90 minutes.”