Manchester United paid the price for missing glaring chances in the first half of their Champions League fixture on Wednesday when Basel’s Michael Lang plundered an 89th-minute winner – to make Mourinho’s side wait to confirm their last 16 spot.
The goal denied United the point they needed to win Group A, although avoiding defeat at home to CSKA Moscow on December 5 will see them achieve that feat.
As it stands now, United, Basel and CSKA Moscow could all end up on same points at the end of the group stage, if the Russian side win at Old Trafford and Basel beat Benfica.
But United would have to lose to CSKA by six goals not to go through.
Here are what Mourinho said after the game;
MY PLAYERS WERE CONFUSED
“The fact we knew one point was enough, probably we thought ‘now is not our time to try to win and time to control’, and in the end we lost.”
UPSET WITH HIS PLAYERS?
“So it’s hard for me to be upset with the players. In the first-half the attitude was good, the football was good, so it’s really difficult to blame anyone.
“I cannot complain or blame the players. I think we play a match like this 10 times and nine times we win comfortably but the one was now. I lost here with Chelsea in the last minute, we had one shot on target and played really bad, but that wasn’t the case today. I think we were really, really good in the first half.”
“It’s just football – an easy match to win and then you lose. Great for them, because now they have a good chance to qualify.
WHY UNITED LOST
“We lost because in the first half we should have been 5-0 or 6-0 up, but we couldn’t score one goal after being so dominant.”
POGBA GOING OFF HAD AN IMPACT
“Did Pogba coming off have an impact on the team? I think it did have an impact, we were not such a good team after Paul came off but it had to be with the levels of fatigue after 65 minutes. I brought to the pitch an experienced player like [Nemanja] Matic and thought it couldn’t affect the game. I bring Marcus [Rashford] to give us more speed, more problems to them, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] to hold the ball and the approach was good.”
UNITED’S CHANCES OF QUALIFYING
“Can someone help me with the maths?”
“We don’t need to win the final match, we don’t even need to draw, it will come down to goals. But obviously we will try to win.”
WAS DALEY BLIND AT FAULT FOR THE GOAL?
“It’s not fair for Blind to blame himself,” “He had a very positive game. We have to blame everyone on the pitch, because we had so many chances.”
PRAISE FOR RETURNING ROJO
“[Marcos] Rojo played very well. He could be playing a couple of weeks ago. We didn’t need to rush him. The first half was very easy, he had lot of the ball, he didn’t have to be physically demanding. He controlled very well his game, so I’m really happy.”