Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho defends Paul Pogba: Players make mistakes
LONDON, England -- Jose Mourinho defended Paul Pogba after his poor marking from a corner led to a Chelsea goal and told him to focus on downing former club Juventus after a "good performance" but "bad result" at Stamford Bridge.
Pogba was at fault for Chelsea's opener after losing Antonio Rudiger at a corner to allow the defender a free header. But the Frenchman was key to United's fight back after half-time as Mourinho's team went 2-1 up thanks to two Anthony Martial goals before being denied victory by Ross Barkley's stoppage-time equaliser.
"Players make mistakes and I prefer to focus on the global performance" said Mourinho when asked about Pogba's role in Chelsea's first goal. "My midfield was very good. Paul was good, [Nemanja] Matic was good, [Juan] Mata was good, Ander Herrera was also in the game.
"The three attacking players work a lot -- Mata, [Anthony] Martial, [Marcus] Rashford. The team did a fantastic work, so I will try to focus on the level of the performance and forget the bad result. I think we deserve much more than this result but this is what it is."
United face Italian champions Juventus at Old Trafford on Tuesday looking to build on positive second half performances against Newcastle and Chelsea.
"If they focus on the performance [against Chelsea] they will be really happy with themselves," said Mourinho. "If they focus on the result they will be very, very disappointed."
United were seconds away from securing a first win at Stamford Bridge since 2012 before Barkley's goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time. Chelsea's celebrations in front of the United bench sparked a melee in the mouth of the tunnel but afterwards Mourinho was more interested in where referee Mike Dean had found six minutes of injury time.
The goal was the latest United have conceded since 2009.
"I am [surprised] because it is one of the things that always depends on the referee's criteria and sometimes we don't understand why it is six or seven," he said.
"Lots of people defend the real time, stop the watch, with so much technology and then it is a fairer situation but one day you can win or lose in the last seconds."