Belfast Telegraph

'Happy' Jose revels in big win as Red Devils book semi berth

By Liam Blackburn

Jose Mourinho expressed a feeling of "real happiness" after watching Manchester United defeat West Ham in the EFL Cup quarter-finals from a secret location inside Old Trafford.

At a venue where they have drawn four successive Premier League games, United's territorial dominance translated into a comprehensive 4-1 victory that came courtesy of braces from Ibrahimovic and Martial.

It was a success that came without Mourinho's prowling presence on the touchline following the news he had accepted a one-match ban for his antics in the 1-1 draw between these two clubs three days earlier at the same venue.

And, though he may not have seen the performance at close quarters, Mourinho declared himself pleased with the cup victory which sent United into a last-four meeting with Hull City, with Liverpool tackling Southampton in the other semi-final.

"I'm pleased with the goals because the performance is something we're used to," he said.

"We're playing very, very well at home and today was more of the same. After their goal we had 10 minutes where we felt it deeply and the players on the pitch couldn't hide that because West Ham's first shot they equalised.

"But in the second half the team got again the confidence to play and we won comfortably playing beautiful attacking football, which is something the fans like but we need results.

"Goals plus performance means the real happiness."

Banned from the touchline and the dugout - for the second time this month - Mourinho was not seen in the Old Trafford directors' box either, though he revealed he was able to relay his thoughts to his coaching team.

Asked where he witnessed United's win, he replied: "It's a secret. I was in contact with the bench.

"Yesterday (Tuesday) we worked really well and everybody was prepared. At half-time I could be face to face with the players and on top of that I trust my assistants to pass on the information we need. I'm really happy with the players."

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic vented his frustration at the end.

"I'm very disappointed, they deserved it," said the Croatian.

"You can't have a slow start anywhere, especially not here because they're good anyway, but when they're one up they hit on the counter attack, have amazing quality and are very direct and punish you."

Belfast Telegraph

From Belfast Telegraph