Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho continued his campaign against match officials after his side picked up a much-needed 3-1 win against Northampton in the ELF Cup to set up an enticing fourth round tie against local rivals Manchester City.
Goals from Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford ended United’s run of three successive defeats, yet Mourinho appeared to be in an especially downbeat mood as he summed up a much-needed win in an interview with Sky Sports.
Mourinho has stated that his side’s defeats against Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford have all been influenced by refereeing decisions that went against his team and even after a win, he appeared to be convinced the officials were not on his side.
Mourinho’s latest gripe with a referee came after Memphis Depay was on the receiving end of a crunching tackle from Northampton’s Jak McCourt, which the United boss suggested should have resulted in a sending off.
“The game should be easier, we should have been playing against 10 men very early in the second half,” he argued, before continuing to vent his anger against referees.
“I should stop speaking about refereeing decisions. I should wait for you to speak, a couple of minutes ago I spoke about the red card, I am not speaking about a penalty against Manchester City (after Wayne Rooney was challenged in the box by City keeper Claudio Bravo).
“It is a red card that could cause some serious injury, but I should just stop.”
Mourinho’s persistent criticism of match officials is reminiscent of a similar smear campaign he mounted in his time as Chelsea manager, with the Football Association eventually getting involved to fine and punish the Portuguese tactician for his antics.
While Mourinho made it clear that he was keen to change his ways when he took over at United, the evidence of recent days would appear to banish that notion.
When he stopped moaning about referees, Mourinho offered a less than enthused appraisal of his side’s efforts, on a night that saw United skipper Wayne Rooney turn in another below par display.
“Northampton fought and they tried to cause us problems which sometimes they did but it was a positive performance overall,” he added.
“It was difficult as I was expecting but we looked to be in control for the first 35 minutes and then we looked to be in control for the last 45. I think the team was in control from the beginning.”
United’a attention now switches to Saturday’s game against champions Leicester City at Old Trafford, with Mourinho looking to avoid a third successive Premier League defeat for the first time in his career.