Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho defends Marouane Fellaini substitution after draw

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Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho defends Marouane Fellaini substitution after draw

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho defended his decision to bring on midfielder Marouane Fellaini during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Everton.

The Belgian conceded a penalty moments after his 85th-minute arrival – allowing the Toffees to snatch a point.

Mourinho said the reason for using Fellaini was “obvious” because of his height and Everton’s approach.

“I thought you would know more about football than you do,” the Portuguese added at a post-match news conference.

“Everton is not a passing team any more like they were in the past. Everton is a team that plays direct: goalkeeper direct, Ashley Williams direct, Ramiro Funes Mori direct. Everything direct.

“When you have on the bench a player with two metres [in height] you play the player in front of the defensive line to help the team to win the match.”

United took the lead at Goodison Park through Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s lobbed finish, and were looking to wrap up only their third league win in 11 games when Fellaini replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Just two minutes later, his clumsy challenge on Idrissa Gueye allowed Leighton Baines to equalise from the spot.

The draw was the Red Devils’ sixth since the start of October, while Mourinho has won just nine of his past 30 league matches in charge of Chelsea and United.

“We are not getting the results we deserve,” he said. “We are getting draws but deserving victory.

“Opposition are leaving the stadium super happy with points they don’t deserve and we are leaving the stadium with a feeling we deserved more.”

The 53-year-old went on to criticise the media’s coverage of his results.

“When my teams are playing pragmatic football and winning matches and winning titles you say that is not nice and not right,” he said.

“Then my team play very well – and is a huge change to the last two or three years [at United] – now you say what matters is to get the result no matter what.

“In this moment we have teams getting results that defend with 11, kick ball and attack the space on the counter-attack… it is phenomenal, it’s beautiful.

“You have to make a decision.”

Mourinho side-steps controversial incidents

Mourinho was back on the touchline after serving a one-match ban during the midweek EFL Cup win over West Ham. That was imposed after he was sent off during the Premier League match against the Hammers last weekend.

It was his second suspension of the season, and he was in no mood to discuss controversial incidents at Goodison Park.

Asked for his view on a crude first-half challenge that could easily have led to defender Marcos Rojo being sent off, the Portuguese twice answered: “I didn’t see it.”

Asked about the decision to award Everton’s penalty, he said: “No thoughts. No comment.

“We were the best team on the pitch by far and it is a result that doesn’t reflect the difference of the performances of both teams.”