José Mourinho quick to praise full-backs after Young Boys win

Debutant Dalot and Shaw gave United sorely needed width in Bern

19-year-old summer signing Diogo Dalot made his Manchester United debut in the 3-0 win over Young Boys in Bern. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty

19-year-old summer signing Diogo Dalot made his Manchester United debut in the 3-0 win over Young Boys in Bern. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty

 

José Mourinho lauded Manchester United’s players after bouncing back from galling back-to-back defeats with three successive wins on the road.

August ended with a shock defeat at Brighton and 3-0 loss to Tottenham at Old Trafford — the heaviest home defeat of the Portuguese’s managerial career.

But United did not wilt after those setbacks, with Premier League wins at Burnley and Watford followed by a comprehensive, albeit not always unconvincing, 3-0 win at Young Boys in their Champions League opener.

Paul Pogba netted twice and assisted Anthony Martial for the other in Bern, where the Red Devils flexed their muscles after being given the odd scare in the Group H clash.

“At half-time I told the players this is the third time in a row that we arrive at half-time winning 2-0,” United boss Mourinho said.

“Against Burnley we didn’t finish off, but we didn’t concede. Against Watford we conceded, and we were in trouble. And today we could have more of that or go in the other direction.

“I think our best period was exactly the period in the second half where we scored the third goal and killed the game.

“In the second half, the players were responsible, they were ambitious, they tried to score the third goal to kill the game, so I like that.

“But what I like most is that after two defeats, three matches away and three victories. I don’t say phenomenal performances, but I say three good, solid performances and let’s go back home Saturday.”

Wolves are the visitors this weekend when United return to home comforts — and the grass of Old Trafford.

Mourinho believes the plastic pitch at the Stade de Suisse gave Young Boys the upper hand early on, before Pogba’s moment of quality delivered a gut punch that he added to from the spot.

Luke Shaw congratulates Anthony Martial after the French forward scored Manchester United’s third in Bern. Photograph: Alessandro Della Valle/EPA
Luke Shaw congratulates Anthony Martial after the French forward scored Manchester United’s third in Bern. Photograph: Alessandro Della Valle/EPA

“I don’t think he can score goals every match,” Mourinho said.

“But the goal he scored today, the first goal is not different than the fantastic save (Watford goalkeeper Ben) Foster had in the last match.

“So, if he starts arriving in possible scoring positions that can be a plus for the team so I’m happy with that.

“But the team had good stability in midfield to allow him to go to these kinds of positions and I’m happy with the good solid performance of the team more than any individual.

“We knew that we needed to win this match and very important for us to go to the next three matches against Valencia and Juventus twice with these three points and we did that.”

Mourinho seemed reluctant to praise Pogba after his impressive display, but the United boss did have kind words for debutant Diogo Dalot and rejuvenated Luke Shaw.

“I want to be also nice to Luke because I think both play at the same level,” the United boss said of his full-back.

“I think Diogo and Luke played very, very well. Our danger came from both of them — they had fantastic movement, depth, crosses, assists.

“They were involved in the most dangerous actions and they also defended well, so I think both of them were very, very good.

“But of course Luke is here for a few years and is playing since beginning of the season. For Diogo, first match for the club after knee surgery. I think a very good solid performance.

“I think everyone could see the potential and everyone could see he is a 19-year-old player that has more than 10 years to play for Manchester United. ”

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