Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United were “clever” in winning fouls and “pretending injuries” during their 2-1 win on Wednesday.
Mourinho’s winning start to life at Spurs came undone at Old Trafford courtesy of two goals from Marcus Rashford with his decisive strike coming from the penalty spot in the second half.
The Red Devils had taken the lead after just six minutes before Dele Alli brought Tottenham level in the 39th minute.
While Mourinho concedes his side’s slow start cost them, the former United coach couldn’t help but take a shot at how easily Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side went to ground.
“We started bad, they started well,” Mourinho told beIN Sports. “They scored the first goal, could have scored the second and for the first 30 minutes they were not just better than us, they were much better than us. For the last 15 minutes [of the first half] the story was different.
“I thought the second half we’d be back to normality and normality was to have control of the game but when you concede a goal like we did it’s difficult.
“They took a few steps back, started to block low and they were clever in the way they were getting fouls and pretending injuries and controlling and then still dangerous on the counterattack.
“We were punished by our mistake for the second goal. The reason I want to say clearly they deserved to win the game was because in the first 30 minutes of the game they were much better than us.
“It was not just today, if you look to our previous matches it was the same. Against Olympiacos, we didn’t start well, against Bournemouth it took time, rather than being proactive we are a little bit more reactive.”
On the penalty, he added: “I don’t know, I didn’t see it, but I think what happened inside of the box is a consequence of what happened before. I think when Ashley Young had the ball we have to be alert immediately, we were not, we gave space to Rashford to receive the ball, it was only when he received the ball that we woke up.”
With the 2-1 defeat, their first loss after three straight wins, Spurs have dropped to eighth in the league with the Red Devils leapfrogging Mourinho’s men into sixth after 15 league games.
Tottenham must now bounce back quickly with a home league game against Burnley to come on Saturday before travelling to Bayern Munich for a Champions League clash next week.