Jose Mourinho appeared to be dissatisfied by the performances of his team and the fans at Old Trafford after Manchester United beat Hull City 2-0 in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg.
Manchester United continued their winning run and moved one step closer to reaching the EFL Cup final, as they beat Hull City 2-0 in the first leg of the semi-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. Second half goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini were enough to give United the advantage.
However victory didn’t come easy, as the Red Devils struggled to create chances all through the match. Hull manager Marco Silva set up a defensively resolute side to frustrate the hosts, and Manchester United couldn’t find a way past Eldin Jakupovic in the first half.
The deadlock was finally broken as the game approached the hour mark, with Juan Mata tapping the ball in from six yards out to finally break the Hull resistance. From thereon out, Manchester United toiled hard in search of a second goal, but chances came few and far between yet again, with Paul Pogba coming the closest as his free kick struck the upright.
Marouane Fellaini, who has been a largely unpopular figure at Old Trafford this season, came on with ten minutes to go and played the hero. The Belgian headed in the second goal for his side with just three minutes left in regulation time, to ensure a comfortable cushion for Mourinho’s side heading into the second leg later this month.
Mourinho though, didn’t seem impressed in the aftermath of the game, and pinpointed a lackluster first half, when Manchester United mustered up just a couple of shots on the Hull City goal, in his post-match press conference.
He said: “Of course they were very well organised defensively [in the first half] like I was expecting and it was not easy for us. But I think we were a bit sloppy, we complicated things with always one more touch, always delaying the decision and giving them time to regroup. And it was not our best first half.
“I think in the first half the players have to do better, I have to do better, the fans – they also have to do better. In the second half, we all improved a little bit, just a little bit.”
Mourinho went on to add that the fans’ performance in Sunday’s crucial Premier League encounter against Liverpool will be vital, and the Manchester United boss invited the fans to not only go to Old Trafford to egg the team on, but also play with them.
He continued: “Now this game is over, I think about Sunday. And Sunday, I need to do better, the players need to do better and the stadium has to do better too. What I feel is that Sunday is a special match for us, a special match for Manchester United fans. Don’t come to the theatre — come to play with us.”
Manchester United host arch rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, when Mourinho’s side will be looking to extend their winning streak and make it 10 consecutive victories in all competitions and continue their charge towards a place in the top four of the Premier League.