Belfast Telegraph

Attitude pleases Mourinho as United bounce back with win

Jose Mourinho was pleased with Manchester United's response to their derby loss as they overcame Bournemouth 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal on Wednesday as United got back to winning ways after their damaging, demoralising and controversial defeat to arch-rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

United boss Mourinho said of his players: "I think (they had a) very good attitude, very good determination to win.

"I think every team, after a defeat, tries not to have a second defeat and that was in the back of their minds when they were playing.

"They wanted to win the match and I could see that from minute one to the last second."

On the whole, however, it was a subdued performance from United and Bournemouth tested the hosts. David de Gea produced a string of good saves in the first half and also denied Jermain Defoe an equaliser late on.

Mourinho said: "They came into the game strong, fresher than us, one more day to rest.

"Then Eddie (Howe) had two good strikers to bring into the game in the last 15 mins in Jermain and (Benik) Afobe and when we don't score that second goal that kills the game, they had the hope, courage and quality to give us a difficult 15 minutes."

United were again without defender Eric Bailly, who has been out since early November with an unspecified injury.

Mourinho was unwilling to give details about the Ivory Coast international's problem when asked after the game but admitted he could be facing a long lay-off.

He said: "I think it's serious. We are trying a conservative treatment but if the conservative treatment is not resulting (in recovery), he will probably have a surgery procedure. But let's wait a little bit more."

Asked if it could prove a season-ending injury, Mourinho said: "I don't want to be so pessimistic."

Bournemouth manager Howe thought his team were unfortunate not to get something out of the game.

He said: "I felt we had a really good first half, especially the first 20-25 minutes. I thought we dominated the game but the first time they got near our goal they scored. That was difficult to take.

"We were good in most areas and disciplined out of possession. The players delivered the gameplan really well and we looked like we had a real cutting edge. We created chances right up until the end."

Howe suggested United goalscorer Romelu Lukaku could have been sent off.

The striker escaped a booking for a bad challenge on Nathan Ake early on and was later booked for a foul on Harry Arter.

Howe said: "I thought the first tackle was a yellow card. He was very late on Nathan. Then he picked up another one which was a clear yellow. He should have been off the pitch.

"I don't want to go on about referees again but he missed a couple there and then the first tackle we make we get a yellow. That was difficult."

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