Man United held on to defeat West Brom and close the gap on Manchester City to 11 points at the top of the Premier League.
Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard had put the Red Devils in charge, but
Gareth Barry prodded home from close range to halve the deficit and the Baggies rallied to give United a real scare.
Read the key points from Mourinho in his post-match interviews with MUTV and Sky Sports …
A DESERVED VICTORY
“I think we deserved the win. We were the best team. I knew and the players knew that West Brom are very dangerous on set-pieces. We controlled the game for a long, long time, then manager Alan Pardew reacts. We had a few chances to kill the game but I knew they would react.”
REASON WHY MOURINHO DID NOT CELEBRATE LUKAKU’S OPENER
“I didn’t celebrate. Nobody was happier than me. Fifteen years ago I look at myself celebrating goals. With maturity you go into levels that you control your emotions better.
“You get more experienced, you get more balanced. You don’t go crazy when you win. You don’t get depressed when you lose. You are much more stable with experience. Some other managers, they are different, and they don’t change.
“I change. If I score a goal in the last minute you will see me run, for sure, for sure. But a goal in minute twenty-something, 1-0 with a lot to play …. Let’s play.
HAPPY WITH THE PERFORMANCE
“We played very well and not even the last minutes made me feel that we didn’t play well because that can happen. You play against a team that is very strong on set-pieces, a team that is playing at home, a team that was bad but a goal brought them to the game and brought the emotion of the game and the motivation of the fans too. So that reaction is normal but I’m happy with the global performance and the individual effort of the players.”
A MASSIVE THREE POINTS
“I think the good quality of the team was to keep control of the game for the majority of the game. We knew they [West Brom] could score out of nothing. We knew the advantage of them in terms of height and strength in set-pieces, having a few [players] who are not small guys. We knew that could happen but a good thing was after that we were calm and we played. You could even see a kid like Scott [McTominay] coming into the game and being intelligent and making the right decisions to keep possession of the ball, so a massive three points for us.”
UNITED IN CONTROL
“I think less ambition after the break. The intensity in the first half maybe we didn’t have in the second half. West Brom are really powerful in the air. But after their goal we controlled the game again. We brought the ball into the opposition half.”
PLEASED WITH LUKAKU
“Again, even without the goal, the performance is positive and again every minute in the Premier League for a striker – he’s not a goalkeeper, he’s not a defensive player. For a striker to play every minute in the Premier League is fantastic.”
LUKAKU’S LACK OF CELEBRATION
“I didn’t celebrate too. Nobody was happier than me. Fifteen years ago I look at myself celebrating goals. With maturity you go into levels that you control your emotions better. Romelu was a happy kid at West Brom (on loan during the 2012/13 season) – maybe at the back of the mind it was his love for the club.”
INJURY TO ANTONIO VALENCIA
“The Valencia injury is what I call a December injury. It is an injury of the accumulation of fatigue. It is a muscular one – hamstring, big small, medium? I don’t know,” said Mourinho.
“He is an experienced guy for not to let it go to difficult limits. But it is an injury of fatigue – everyone in the Premier League, especially the ones with more accumulation of cups and European cups they are at risk.
STILL HOPEFUL OF CATCHING MAN CITY
“I know that the questions are always coming in the same direction and I keep saying the same. Last match in the Premier League, Watford at Old Trafford, mid May, and until then every match we go. Every match we try to win.
“If you do that question to us and then you do it to the third and the fourth and to the fifth and to the sixth, probably they disappear. Probably they want to go on holidays. We don’t want to go on holidays. We want to play until the last.