Jose Mourinho: Draw with Arsenal ‘feels like a defeat’ for Man United

Jose Mourinho attributes Manchester United’s unlucky season thus far to youth and elder players on the squad.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was left frustrated after Olivier Giroud’s late goal robbed his side of victory at home against Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

As Mourinho walked out of his news conference, he also sarcastically said “finally, I lost to Arsenal.” The United manager has never lost against Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in competitive matches — a run which has now been extended to 14 games.

United had taken the lead when Juan Mata struck in the 68th minute from Ander Herrera’s pull-back, but the Gunners levelled through Giroud’s header.

“We should have won the game comfortably,” Mourinho said. “I feel very disappointed for the players and the fans.

“For us, it feels like a defeat. For Arsenal, it feels like a victory.”

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United had a penalty appeal turned down in the first half when the impressive Antonio Valencia fell after Nacho Monreal put an arm across him, but Mourinho did not single out referee Andre Marriner for criticism.

“I don’t want to speak about it,” Mourinho said. “He is the kind of ref that if he makes mistakes with my team there is no intention. I remember his words before the game, ‘I don’t want to be seen, I want to do my work the best I can’ and he’s right — he doesn’t want to be a star. He wants to be an honest man and a good ref.

“I know because I’ve watched on video a few times but I don’t want to say whether it was a mistake or not because he is a good ref.”

He added: “I’m not going to say they [Arsenal] didn’t want to win but they couldn’t be the way they normally play football.

“We were phenomenal. From a defensive point of view we pressed and were very strong when we lost the ball and controlled their counter-attacks and their best players.

“We were very comfortable with the ball and played quality football, had a good goal and chances to kill the game.

Jose Mourinho refused to criticise the referee in his decision not to award Man United with a penalty.

“Then the only time that we had a situation we couldn’t resolve, they scored a goal, so they were the lucky ones and we were the unlucky ones — but that’s football.

“We played very well as a team. I don’t want to be critical. I’m very happy with the team but at the moment we’re the unluckiest team in the Premier League.

“The team are playing well and working really well. I’m happy with the work and happy with the guys and super-happy with the fans — they know how to applaud a team that dropped two games at home, they know how to be fair.”

Arindam is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him @ARejSport

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