Jose Mourinho praised Newcastle’s fighting spirit after they held on to beat Manchester United 1-0 on Sunday, but added that the “gods of football were with them.”
Matt Ritchie’s goal after 65 minutes was the difference between the two sides as the Magpies won a first home game since October.
The win saw the Toon climb out of the relegation zone, while defeat saw United remain 16 points behind leaders Manchester City.
It also extended Mourinho’s record of never having won at St James’ Park as a manager.
Jose Mourinho's record at St James' Park.
DLDLLD…. L pic.twitter.com/OumFnwfl8p
— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) February 11, 2018
“They fought like animals, that’s a good word in football, and I hope they understand it as a compliment. They have everything they had and then the gods of football were with them. But they fought like animals to have luck on their side,” Mourinho said after the game.
“It wasn’t going to happen for us but also they gave what they have and what they don’t have, that’s a beautiful thing in football. They must have the best feeling of all, sometimes a better feeling than when you play fantastically well and you are better than the opponent.”
Newcastle’s goal came from sloppy defending after a free-kick given for a Chris Smalling dive in the centre circle.
“We made a defensive mistake from the free-kick,” said Mourinho. “Then when they are in front they only had one thing in their mind. They gave their lives to keep a clean sheet.
“It was not just up to them, it was also the gods of football, but I repeat it’s a beautiful thing to win a match the way they did.”
Pundits and fans were not impressed.
United don’t lose very often under Mourinho – but don’t rescue anywhere near enough points from losing positions, which was in their DNA under Ferguson #mufc
— James Robson (@JamesRobsonMEN) February 11, 2018
So Mourinho plays the same side which lost at Tottenham and United lose again. Had some great chances but they were hardly a reflection of dominance. Mourinho weirdly tolerating mediocrity in that squad. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 11, 2018
I blame Mourinho for this loss. He’s got the tactics wrong for 3 consecutive games, all because of his Sanchez experiments.
Let’s not even talk about Pogba. I’m just going to assume he has some mystery illness he’s hiding.
— Övie (@OvieO) February 11, 2018
Mourinho needs to go! Gets his tactics wrong in the big games, plays players out of position, not much development in them either! When he does win it’s never a convincing performance! We could be on another level with a different manager! #MourinhoOut
— Matt Jenkins (@MattJenkins8989) February 11, 2018
Mourinho’s stubbornness is draining this side, massively. We were in tremendous form with the 4-3-3 and for no reason at all he changes it up once again. Stick to what’s best, simple.
— MUFC (@Mourinholic) February 11, 2018
Ready for brickbats but wondering what Mourinho has done at Man Utd to justify that new long term contract?
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) February 11, 2018
Do you agree with the critics?