Jose Mourinho had veiled digs at Paul Pogba and Manchester United’s scouts while praising his players’ spirit during the 4-1 win over Fulham.
Ashley Young put the home side ahead early on and Juan Mata doubled United’s lead after 28 minutes. Belgian frontman Romelu Lukaku added a third from close range just before the break.
Fulham pulled a goal back with a penalty on 67 minutes through Aboubakar Kamara, but the Cottagers were soon reduced to 10 men when midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa collected a second yellow card.
Marcus Rashford scored a fourth for United with seven minutes left as United relieved the pressure on Mourinho.
The United boss again left Pogba on the bench and in his absence, Mourinho was happier with his players’ attitude.
“Today we scored the first goal, quite soon and we managed to keep going strong until half-time,” he told BBC Sport.
“The players understand when we have 11 players sticking together we can be a much better team.”
Diogo Dalot, 19, impressed for United at right-back and Mourinho was quick to praise the Portuguese teenager while having a dig at the club’s scouting department.
“I’m not a scout, I have no chance to do that. I can do it with Dalot because he is Portuguese. I can control that market pretty well. He’s a player with fantastic potential.
“The players understood after Arsenal, when with a bad result you can be happy. They wanted to bring that same mentality to the game today. When the players give everything, the feeling is still positive. When you give everygthing for the club, you are a better team.”
Mourinho expanded on his assessment to Sky Sports.
“The first half was really good,” he added. “‘We gave no chances to Fulham. We were strong, aggressive and intense. At times it was beautiful football. The first half was perfect.
“The second half was Ranieri’s fault. He made two changes that improved his team and gave us problems that we didn’t have in the first half. I also think there was some fatigue in some of my players. A few factors made the second half not as good as the first.
“We were intense without the ball and with the ball. Without the ball we pressed, we kept Mitrovic away from the goal. With the ball it was simple, one or two touches. We were really good.
“We needed it. The last three matches we didn’t lose, but didn’t win. Now we have two away matches, then two at home. Let’s see if we can get more points from those matches.
“The players have shown they can be a better team than they are. When there is solidarity in the team, everyone giving their maximum, you attract more positive things.”
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