Manchester United's first half was perfect, says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho could find nothing to fault about Manchester United against Swansea City – at least in the first 45 minutes.

Published : Apr 01, 2018 00:22 IST

Jose Mourinho described Manchester United's first-half performance in their 2-0 win over Swansea City as "perfect".

Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez scored the goals as the home side moved back into second place in the table with a comfortable victory at Old Trafford.

Swansea did not manage a shot until the 59th minute, such was United's dominance, although they improved in the last half-hour as the hosts allowed their level to drop.

Mourinho put that down to fatigue following the international break, but was nonetheless thrilled with what he saw during the opening period.

"The first half was perfect," Mourinho told a news conference, where Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal joined him. "Maybe one more goal and game over and the first half was probably one of the best we played here.

"In the first half they didn't cross the line, didn't have one shot, we pressed so high and so strong, recovered the ball, had lots of movement and passing, we arrived in many dangerous positions, we should score one more.

"The second half was different, I think credit to Carlos because he improved the team at half-time, but we let it go a bit.

"Probably six or seven players played international football midweek, I could feel the intensity go down, we let them have the ball, didn't press so high, our passing was slower, movement not the same.

"Players with an amazing first half let it go down a little bit and they felt they had a chance and then David [de Gea] had to make a couple of saves. But in this moment of the season, seven matches to go, we got the points and are ready to fight this season."

Sanchez set up Lukaku's goal before scoring his first since the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town last month, in what was arguably his best performance since signing from Arsenal in January.

Mourinho hopes the Chile star's display will help to boost his confidence after a difficult first few weeks at the club.

"Everything that brings confidence to the players is positive for me, that's what I want," he said. "I want players to play well, to get confidence and try to be stable.

"It happens a lot in football players: the emotions control them and the moments make them perform, perform not so well, so it's important these details make the attacking players happy boys."

Mourinho also praised Lukaku for the continued improvement in his all-round play, as the Belgium star celebrated his 100th goal in the Premier League.

"His evolution is clear," he said. "At Chelsea, he was obviously young but experiences in good clubs before he arrived in a club like Manchester United, especially from the mental point of view, he's more than ready.

"And those details as a player, movement, feelings, knowledge of every inch where he steps in, comes with experience. He's 24 years old, [has] a lot to learn, a World Cup to play, too. Those experiences can only make him better."

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