The Red Devils were comfortable winners at Old Trafford on Thursday evening in the end, but the Portuguese boss was disappointed by his side’s performance in the first-half as the Ligue 1 outfit threatened to cause United problems.
‘The guys were not focused’
And although Mourinho saw his team finish the opening 45 minutes 1-0 ahead, he remained unsatisfied by the team’s display.
The 54-year-old said he “had the feeling immediately in the dressing room, too noisy, too funny, relaxed,” also explaining that his assistants shared that anxiety during the warm-up.
He added that “some of the guys were not focused on getting the right adrenaline in their bodies,” and referred to a couple of Eric Bailly mistakes early on by saying that “the game started and the first thing we did was a back-pass to the striker”.
Different half, different story
Fortunately, United were much better in the second-half – an observation which was also acknowledged by Mourinho. That change was also partly helped by the half-time introduction of Jesse Lingard, who displaced Marouane Fellaini in an advanced midfield role.
He said that the first-half “was hard, even myself on the touchline, it was difficult to communicate,” but that the second-half was a “different story”. The boss said his side were “lucky to be winning at half-time”.
On that second period, the ex-Chelsea boss explained that his side’s play was “fast, we were recovering the ball higher up in the pitch,” although he still didn’t see it as a perfect game “because we still lost the ball in various circumstances”.
Mourinho also stressed that “the result is not over but it’s a good result”.
United face Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup on Sunday before travelling to France for the second-leg on Wednesday.