‘Lots of mistakes’: Jose Mourinho criticises Manchester United’s ‘awful’ defending in Champions League quarter-final defeat by Barcelona
- Manchester United fell to heavy 3-0 defeat by Barcelona in Champions League
- Former boss Jose Mourinho criticised the club for giving Lionel Messi space
- Three defenders signed by Sir Alex Ferguson signings started the match
- Since he left the club, Man United have spent just £76.9million on defenders
Jose Mourinho blasted former club Manchester United for defensive mistakes during their 3-0 Champions League quarter-final second-leg defeat by Barcelona.
Lionel Messi struck twice and Philippe Coutinho scored a wonder goal as United were dominated by their Spanish rivals and fell to a 4-0 aggregate loss.
They fielded three Sir Alex Ferguson signings in their back four despite him retiring in 2013, and Mourinho was vocal in his calls for defensive reinforcements before his departure in December.
Jose Mourinho criticised Manchester United’s poor defending in defeat by Barcelona
‘Lots of mistakes, lots of goals with awful defending on the inside foot,’ Mourinho told Russia Today.
INVESTMENT IN CENTRE-BACKS SINCE SUMMER 2013
MANCHESTER CITY: £182.7m
MANCHESTER UNITED: £76.9m
‘You look to Coutinho’s goal, even to Messi’s goal.
‘I think United’s approach was different. I think in the first game they tried to occupy that central zone because Messi’s position is easy to understand but is not easy to create a cage to control him. Because he comes from the right, then stays in the middle, and then [Ivan] Rakitic defends on the right and allows him to stay in the middle between the lines. It’s very difficult.
‘Manchester United in the first match, zonally, they occupied that central area very well. So when he came into the inside he was finding Fred, he was finding [Scott] McTominay coming to the inside all the time.’
Manchester United’s more open approach was regularly exploited during the second leg
The Portuguese contrasted the impressive work of the first leg, in which Messi had a quiet match, to their more open, attacking approach of the Nou Camp clash.
‘In this match, maybe because Man United were losing 1-0, they tried to start the game with a different perspective.
‘And then it was [Paul] Pogba wide on the left and McTominay much more on the right and Jesse Lingard playing as a No 10 behind the strikers. And in front of the defensive line was only Fred.
‘And that’s the area where Messi comes and gets the ball and when Messi has the ball, one on one. You are dead. That’s why I never liked individual man-on-man against Messi. Messi’s a cage. You have to create a cage.
‘Barcelona is Barcelona, they are a better team than Manchester United, they have better players than Manchester United. I think it’s normal they won.’
Lionel Messi (left) struck twice and Philippe Coutinho (right) scored a stunner to see off United