Despite Manchester United’s comfortable win over Newcastle United on Saturday, Jose Mourinho noticed how open their defense was
The Special One claimed his decision to start Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford at the same time left the Red Devils’ defense open against Newcastle in their Premier League clash on Saturday, where Mourinho’s side won 4-1.
Despite the quick goal of Newcastle, Manchester took the game into their hands and flipped the script at Old Trafford. After Dwight Gayle’s goal, Martial equalised before Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and finally Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net as well.
The Portuguese coach went with an attacking line-up, allowing Rashford, Martial and Lukaku to play as well. The manager admitted this system allowed Newcastle to come out and attack early on.
“[Rashford and Martial] both like to play in the same position and that is difficult,” Mourinho said.
“They both prefer to play on the left than the right, both playing with another striker through the middle; we lose a point of contact with the midfield that we are used to, with the player playing behind the striker.
“But we found then a certain balance and, when they started finding one opening on the left and one on the mid-left between the striker and the left winger, that was the moment where we start creating more,” he added.
Mourinho even admitted that the away side were probably better in the first-half.
“But, to be honest, Newcastle were probably the [better] team – not in the second-half, but in the first-half – and we felt a bit of instability in our defensive areas,” the coach added.
“That was clearly not because of the defensive players but because of our balance. To play them together gives us things but also takes some things from us.”
Thanks to their victory, Mourinho’s men are still 8-points behind leaders Manchester City, as Guardiola’s men managed to defeat Leicester City on Saturday.