Manchester United coach José Mourinho heaped praise on Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, stating that their 1-0 win over The Red Devils is a "beautiful thing" about football.
Can believe that he is more than pleased
Tyneside has never proven to be a great stomping ground for the 'Special One' having failed to win at St James' Park on six occasions going into this clash, but having yet to face Newcastle with his Red Devils side the coach may have been confident of ending that hoodoo.
It certainly didn't start well with Jonjo Shelvey going close early on, but United kicked into gear as the first-half neared its end with Anthony Martial missing a glorious one-on-one chance with the inspired Martin Dúbravka.
They came even closer at the beginning of the second period with Alexis Sánchez having an effort cleared off the line, but it was a goal from Matt Ritchie that separated the sides at the end despite United continuing to push The Magpies.
Those three points could prove crucial for Rafael Benítez's side as it catapulted them out of the relegation zone and into 13th, and Mourinho showed humbleness in defeat post-match.
“I think first of all Newcastle United players and obviously gave what they have and what they don’t have," Mourinho stated to his in the post-match press conference.
“That is a beautiful thing in football," the coach stated to the gathered press. "They came here to fight for a point but they found themselves in a position of winning 1-0 and in that moment I think they went over all the limits of effort and sacrifice."
“They gave everything a manager likes to see in his team," the Portuguese national proclaimed. “I saw that in my team after the 1-0 and that desire to play and try until the last seconds which we did."
Mourinho added: “I can imagine that Rafa Benitez is more than pleased with the effort of his players."
Don't put me in a position to criticise a player
There was a number of lacklustre performances on the pitch from United, but once again the spotlight was put on talismanic midfielder Paul Pogba.
The Frenchman returned to the starting XI having only made a substitute appearance in last Saturday's 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town, having been taken off by Mourinho in the midweek defeat to Tottenham following a disagreement.
Pogba was slung off almost instantaneously following Ritchie's winner with many believing that the midfielder could take some of the blame for the goal failing to jump to defend the free-kick, but when questioned about his substitution Mourinho insisted that there was no injury and that he shouldn't be put in a position to "criticise" one of his players.
"No problems," he said when asked if Pogba had suffered an injury "I wanted a better way to come out in the first phase against a team that was defending in a very compact block."
"We train, we work, we organise," the coach said about the defending for the goal. "The players have their individual jobs in situation in defence, the players know there's responsibilities."
"But I'm pretty sure that you already watch that goal on television a few times, I didn't," the 55-year-old proclaimed. "I'm pretty sure that you did, so you know more than me, you know who lost the challenge in the air."
"So I think it's better if you don't put me in a position," Mourinho concluded. "Where I don't criticise a player and by yourself you make your analyse."