Mourinho: United's defeat to Newcastle was handsome

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Despite his red card earlier in the season and various complaints about refereeing decisions, Mourinho said that he was mostly happy with the quality of officiating in England, although he felt players such as Alexis Sanchez could do with a little more protection. "I never had a problem with his professionalism because he is a good trainer and he likes to train".

"I thought it could be a massive achievement (even in September), but watching the teams and the differences between the teams, the experience of the different clubs, now you realise it is even more hard".

Mourinho also takes a thinly-disguised swipe at cross-city rival Pep Guardiola, who has been vocal in complaining about the meaty tackling dished out to his star players.

"But for the refs, every player must be treated the same and according to the rules". "As a kid you have more to develop but until the end of your career you have things to learn and things to adapt. He's powerful and athletic with good technique, but I've not seen a different, improved Pogba since he walked back into Old Trafford in August 2016".

Mourinho appeared to question Wayne Rooney's assessment of where Pogba can best operate.

Gayle was also unlucky not to be awarded a first-half penalty but Man United were guilty of wasteful finishing with Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez the chief culprits.

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Mourinho said: "First of all Newcastle players and staff, they gave what they have and what they don't have and that is the attractive thing in football". I lost and drew there a few times.

'I can remember many of them, some of the best ones in the country - Benitez another example - so it's hard to understand. There is no doubt José Mourinho wants Pogba to stay closer to Matić and not to drift wherever he wants to, but it is clearly Pogba's natural instinct to roam the pitch looking for the ball, particularly in the left inside channel. He can do a bit of everything really well.

"For me Paul Pogba is a classic box-to-box player". It is good to see him praising our players, but that is the only way for us and I am really proud of them.

"It's true I haven't won there in the League but I don't know why", he said.

Their Champions League duels will live long in the memory, but nowadays one manager is hoping to avoid losing any more distance on the league leaders as the other looks to avoid the drop amid background tension. Apart from an unfortunate hiccup against Tottenham that ended 2-0, United have had a pretty great start to their year.

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