José Mourinho safe for now at Manchester United

United 19 points adrift of Liverpool after Anfield defeat in poorest start to season since 1990

Manchester United manager José Mourinho shakes hands with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp at the end of the Premier League match at Anfield. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Manchester United manager José Mourinho shakes hands with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp at the end of the Premier League match at Anfield. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

 

José Mourinho is safe from the sack for the immediate future, with it being business as usual for the Manchester United manager despite Sunday’s insipid 3-1 loss at Liverpool.

Mourinho is coming under increasing pressure because of United’s poor season so far, a run that has left them in sixth place, yet it is understood that Mourinho is to remain in place.

The defeat by Jürgen Klopp’s team left United 19 points behind Liverpool, the leaders, and 11 from Chelsea in the final Champions League berth. After 17 games, Mourinho’s side have a goal difference of zero and have lost five matches, winning seven times, in United’s poorest start to the season since 1990.

As United have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup, Mourinho has a clear week to prepare for Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City. The rest of their fixtures during the festive period are the visits of Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth to Old Trafford before the trip to Newcastle United on January 2nd.

Mourinho has had the Football Association’s appeal against a not guilty verdict that he used insulting/improper and/or abusive language following the win over Newcastle United in October dismissed.

It is understood that the FA’s appeal was upheld by an independent appeal board but that the case was then moved to a different commission because of a legal argument raised by the manager that he had “legitimate expectation”, based on precedent, that he would not be charged for swearing and that on this basis he was again cleared.

United, meanwhile, have triggered the one-year extension in Anthony Martial’s contract, ensuring the forward is at the club until summer 2020. As with David De Gea, the club is intent on tying Martial, whose eight goals make him the side’s top scorer, to a fresh long-term deal. – Guardian

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