A visibly ashamed Mourinho lamented his side’s attitude, stating that it was the “first time” he’s seen such a display, while also praising the hosts’ approach to the game.
Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre netted within six minutes of each other in the first half to stun United and take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Marcus Rashford’s header from Romelu Lukaku’s perfectly-judged cross 10 minutes from time only proved to be a consolation, as the Terriers held on for a historic victory.
Mourinho plays down ‘shock result’ label
There were many factors that Manchester United’s loss could’ve been put down to on the day – Storm Brian, the electric atmosphere created by home supporters, Phil Jones’ unfortunate injury – but José Mourinho pointed his finger towards the trip to Benfica on Wednesday.
“The conditions are the same for everyone, for them and for us. The only thing is different is the fact we had a match two days ago and they didn't, but we already knew this for a long, long time. That is the difference in quality - one team plays in the Champions League and the other one doesn't. So, the difference in quality is compensated by the fact one team plays more matches than the other.”
The United boss highlighted David Wagner’s team’s “aggression, desire, motivation and sacrifice,” none of which he thought his own players fought with and so “the team that deserved to win, won. Simple.”
Ander Herrera in the firing line of criticism
Red Devils midfielder Ander Herrera made his thoughts clear after the full-time whistle, stating that the visitors’ “attitude and desire was poor” because “every Premier League game is a cup final” – and the interview didn’t go unnoticed by his manager.
“I heard that Ander Herrera is in the flash interviews saying the attitude and desire was poor, oh my god, when I player feels that they should all go to the press conference and explain why because I can't explain why.”
Manchester United have a big week ahead and will need to put this setback behind them quickly, as their Carabao Cup defence heads to Swansea City on Tuesday before league action returns when Tottenham Hotspur travel to Old Trafford on Saturday.