Jose Mourinho praises Manchester United players for sealing second place
A drab 0-0 draw at West Ham was enough for the Red Devils to confirm their place as Premier League runners-up.
Jose Mourinho praised the fight and determination from his Manchester United players to seal second place in the Premier League with a draw at West Ham.
A forgettable game ended in a drab 0-0 stalemate as Luke Shaw came closest to settling the contest when his first-half effort was turned onto the post.
The dull encounter flared up in the closing stages as West Ham skipper Mark Noble clashed with Paul Pogba – the pair arguably lucky to only walk away with yellow cards.
Mourinho made wholesale changes following Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Brighton, his side showing eight alterations as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were two to drop out of the side.
Alexis Sanchez returned to lead the line but could not inspire the Red Devils to victory – although a share of the spoils was enough to ensure they will finish second to runaway champions Manchester City.
“Any team that goes to this kind match where you need something to get some objective, you fight for that,” said United boss Mourinho.
“The best way to fight for the point was to try to win the match and be safe, which was what we tried.
“But when the game goes to 70, 75 minutes, you don’t win, you don’t lose, you do the job. You get the point.
“We deserved a point, we deserved second position. When it is not possible to be champions, second position is the best available which was what we got.”
Mourinho explained that his squad rotation was merely to get minutes into his players with an eye to the FA Cup final meeting with Chelsea on May 18 and confirmed Martial and Rashford will return against Watford on Sunday.
“It (the thinking) was to play with Alexis and (Jesse) Lingard because they didn’t play the last match,” he added.
“We try to organise a team to get that point but give opportunities to people to play.
“Even those ones who will probably play the cup final, to rest for a couple of weeks is not the best preparation for that.
“Marcus and Anthony played against Brighton, today was for Alexis and Lingard and Sunday is again for Martial and Rashford.”
West Ham boss David Moyes hailed his players for not switching off from the task at hand – despite securing their Premier League survival with victory at Leicester last time out.
“I thought the players showed a great attitude,” he said.
“Sometimes when you get safe you can slip away from it but the players were at it all night and stuck to it to get a thoroughly deserved point.
“The last two games we have got two good clean sheets. Overall, I am pleased with the players all round. They have done a good job.”