Jose Mourinho hails ‘remarkable comeback’ at Palace
Manchester United manager proud of second half performance with Liverpool test next
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho celebrates after Nemanja Matic scores. Photograph: PA
Jose Mourinho praised Manchester United’s “remarkable comeback” after they recovered from two goals down to win 3-2 at Crystal Palace.
Nemanja Matic’s stoppage-time strike secured an unlikely three points that took them back up to second in the Premier League, ahead of Saturday’s showdown with in-form rivals Liverpool.
They went two down shortly after half-time when Patrick van Aanholt’s finish doubled the advantage Andros Townsend had already given Palace, but Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and then Matic broke the hosts’ hearts to leave them in 18th place.
“(It was) a remarkable comeback, but we made mistakes,” said Mourinho, 55. “A fantastic comeback, but mistakes.
“The attitude, the intensity, the quality, the dynamic, the risk were fantastic. We needed that little bit of luck to win in the last minute.
“But I’d say we deserved it because the dominance in that last half-hour was huge.”
“The first goal is a bad goal”, he added.
“In the second half we were all expecting a direct comeback, and then we concede a goal that is a good goal to show the kids in the academies in the country.
“Palace did very, very well. Roy (Hodgson, their manager) was aggressive. Roy was clever. He went direct and tried to bring the emotion to the game to his team, which he did, and they were always dangerous.
“It’s very hard for them to lose and go home without a single point, because they gave absolutely everything.”
A point would have been vital for Palace during a month in which they also travel to Chelsea and Huddersfield before hosting Liverpool.
It would also have meant only goal difference was keeping them in the bottom three, but Roy Hodgson spoke of his “pride” in the way they had played.
“I’m proud of the performance,” the 70-year-old said. “I can’t criticise any player or person for the effort they put in, their discipline tactically. It’s just one of those things.
“Matic scores a worldy from 30 metres. If that had gone out or gone wide, we’d be sitting here looking at another good performance and another good point.
“As a result, everything gets changed. (I feel) sadness. Total sadness.
“I saw a group of players give their all for the club, for their team-mates, on paper against all the odds.”