Mourinho: Football gods with Newcastle

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.

“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.

Do you agree with the critics?