Sniping Mourinho says United’s luck will change

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (front) and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger watch on during their sides’ Premier League match on Saturday.

His team had been sucker-punched by Arsenal, but Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could not resist one last dig at his opposite number Arsene Wenger.

“Finally, I lost against Arsene,” Mourinho declared as he left the Old Trafford news conference room following a 1-1 draw he said felt “like a defeat”.

“Finally, I lost against Arsenal.”

Saturday’s result in fact extended Mourinho’s unbeaten run against Wenger’s Arsenal to 12 league games, but that was of little consolation after a contest United dominated.

Juan Mata gave the team a deserved 69th-minute lead, but with a minute to go, substitute Olivier Giroud headed in an equalizer with Arsenal’s first effort on target.

It has become a recurring theme for United, which has drawn three consecutive home games in the league for the first time since April 1992.

Maddeningly, in those three games – a 0-0 stalemate with Burnley and 1-1 draws against Stoke City and Arsenal – the players have had a total of 74 attempts on goal to their opponents’ 19.

United remains sixth in the table, six points below fourth-place Arsenal and eight points behind Jurgen Klopp’s leader Liverpool.

‘The unlucky team’

Mourinho, though, believes it is only misfortune that is keeping his team from the Champions League places.

“At this moment, we all know internally we are the unlucky team in the Premier League,” said Mourinho, who was missing injured center-backs Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, and the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“We just focus on Burnley, Stoke and Arsenal – nine points, easily. If we have six points more, we are top four and close to the top of the league.

“We have a lot of work to do, we know that. We have lots of kids that are mistake-prone. We also know we have some amazing players that turn 33, 34.

“We know that other teams are prepared with much different conditions.

“How long is Mr Wenger with this team? How long is Mauricio (Pochettino) with Tottenham? How long is Klopp with his team?

“Chelsea and Liverpool don’t play in Europe. They have one week to work, to rest, to prepare.

“If you remember what Brendan Rodgers did with Liverpool two seasons ago, also in a season where Liverpool didn’t have Europe, they’re in a privileged position to improve their teams.

“The level and experience of Man City. We are in a very difficult Premier League. I know, the players know, the board knows, the owners know. By the reaction of the Man United fans, they know.

“We are very confident. We are very, very, very happy with our work and better results will arrive, for sure.”

I’m not finished yet, promises angry Rooney

Wayne Rooney slammed the response to his late-night antics on England duty as “disgraceful” and vowed not to be consigned to the international scrapheap over the incident.

Rooney was widely criticized earlier this week after photographs in a tabloid newspaper showed the England captain looking the worse for wear during a reported drinking binge at the team hotel last weekend.

The 31-year-old, who was wearing his England training kit at the time, was reported to have been up until the early hours on Nov 13 at a wedding in The Grove hotel, leading the forward to “unreservedly” apologize to interim boss Gareth Southgate, the Football Association and young fans.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn has promised a “proper investigation as to what went on” and the England squad will be banned from nights out between matches while on international duty.

But Rooney, speaking after coming on as a substitute in United’s draw against Arsenal on Saturday, expressed his anger at the way the incident has been portrayed.

“It feels as if the media are trying to write my obituary and I won’t let that happen,” Rooney said. “I love playing for my country and I am proud of my achievements to date – but I have not finished yet.”

Rooney added “what’s been going on is disgraceful”, saying the treatment shows “a lack of respect” and that “enough is enough”.

Source: China Daily

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