MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his risky tactical approach had been vindicated after his side stunned Premier League leaders Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday. Facing his former club, Mourinho rested Zlatan Ibrahimovic and charged Ander Herrera and Matteo Darmian with the task of man-marking Chelsea dangermen Eden Hazard and Pedro. Chelsea were successfully nullified, failing to register a single shot on target in a league game for the first time since 2007, and now lead Tottenham Hotspur by just four points.
“Maybe we didn’t ‘rest’ players ahead of Thursday (when United play Anderlecht in the Europa League), we just chose the team we thought was the best team,” Mourinho told Sky Sports at Old Trafford. “We went to Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup with the same tactics (when United lost 1-0). “The game was totally controlled with 11 players, only the decision that made us play with 10 men for the second half and 10 minutes in the first half gave Chelsea a chance to be dominant. “We knew that playing this way would be very difficult for them.”
In United’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Chelsea last month, Herrera was sent off in the first half after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Hazard.
This time he was United’s match-winner, setting up Rashford’s seventh-minute opener and netting with a deflected shot had been “almost perfect”. — AFP