Jose Mourinho put a brave face on Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Basel in their Champions League tie on Wednesday night, focusing on his side’s profligacy rather than the defeat.
United were utterly dominant in the first period, hitting the woodwork twice, while Marouane Fellaini had a header cleared off the line and Romelu Lukaku missed a one-on-one chance.
The result means United will have to wait to confirm their qualification for the last 16, although it is pretty much assured as they only need to avoid losing to CSKA Moscow by more than six goals to go through.
Still, Mourinho preferred to reflect on what could have been.
“Half time it should be 5-0, they didn’t have a shot, we hit the post twice, had huge percentage of the ball, we created numerous chances, the game was easy to win, you don’t score, the opponent survive and in the second half you feel they have a chance,” he said.
“I believe that with the minutes going probably my players felt we didn’t score until now, we don’t concede and we get the point and in the last minute they score.
“Frustration starts in the first half, I was counting to my assistants: one two and three, then four and five, then Martial six, Fellaini seven, we go to half time 0-0 and put ourselves in this situation and in the second half it would be difficult to have the same number of chances.”
— FC Basel 1893 EN (@FC_Basel_en) November 22, 2017
Words can’t possibly describe this incredible moment for this club, wow!!!!
Congrats to the team ? https://t.co/qvEOCHoSmN
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) November 22, 2017
Mourinho also refused to blame Daley Blind for the Basel goal, after he was beaten at the far post by Lang, instead suggesting that the team was responsible for the defeat.
“The only thing I can get from the goal is the low cross, the right back coming in front of Daley and I know that in the flash interview Daley was blaming himself, it’s totally unfair. I refuse that situation because we are a team in the first half we should be winning five or 6-0 and that was not Daley’s fault for sure so we put ourselves in this position.”
“The first half the attitude was good, the football was good, is really difficult to blame just football, easy match to win and then you lose, great for them, they have a good chance to qualify.”