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Man Utd 2-2 Arsenal: Jose Mourinho praises soul of players after mistakes in Old Trafford draw

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho praised Manchester United's character after watching his side "score four goals" during their 2-2 draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

After a positive opening by United, David De Gea allowed Shkodran Mustafi's header to slip through his hands, with Ander Herrera failing to clear in time on the line.

Arsenal's second goal saw Marcos Rojo try desperately to make up for his error in giving the ball to Alexandre Lacazette only to slide in and score an own goal.

United responded quickly both times through Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, when Arsenal had a defensive collapse of their own, and with an ever-growing injury list to cope with Mourinho praised the "soul" of his players.

He selected Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly despite neither being fully fit while Rojo made his first appearance of the season and Diogo Dalot his first ever start in the Premier League.

Mourinho said: "Maybe we feel frustrated with the result, we feel frustrated with some mistakes, we feel frustrated with some moments where a little bit more quality would be needed but we have to be happy with the spirit, we have to be happy with the effort, the dynamic, the intensity.

"The team had a big soul. We scored four goals and we drew 2-2. Even in matches like today where we play well, we always shoot ourselves.

"But good performances. I could speak about everyone. Especially in moments where we are not very happy with the result, we need happiness on the pitch."

Pogba and Lukaku dropped by Mourinho

Mourinho dropped Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to the bench, with both coming on in the second half, but denied the team's level of happiness was improved by neither being in the starting line-up.

He said: "I think Paul came on and gave a good contribution. I brought freshness and power to the attacking players but our defenders were dead. That made it more difficult to keep that happiness for the 95 minutes.

"In the last part of the game it was Arsenal wanting the draw, diving, getting the game stopped."

Mourinho reserved special praise for 19-year-old Dalot, who showed plenty of attacking intent down the right.

"The kid Diogo, fantastic," added the United boss. "I think Gary Neville must be thinking now that Manchester United has a right-back for 10 years."

Martial limped off during the second half but Mourinho offered a positive assessment, describing the Frenchman's problem as a "pre-injury" after he felt tightness.

Injury problems for Arsenal

There is likely to be far less positive news for Arsenal defender Rob Holding, who was carried down the tunnel on a stretcher after twisting his knee awkwardly and he may have suffered ligament damage.

Gunners boss Unai Emery said: "It's the worst for us today. Rob Holding, we are going to wait for the doctor but maybe it's a big injury."

Aaron Ramsey also had to be replaced but Emery described his problem as a small injury.

The Arsenal boss felt his side were unfortunate not to come away from Old Trafford with three points for the first time since 2006 in the Premier League.

He said: "I am very proud for our work and how we responded in the 90 minutes. When we are winning it was a good moment but they equalised very quickly then we got up after their two goals.

"In the second half our players worked to find a way to win. I think we were close, more than them, to do the third goal but De Gea saved two or three times with good action."

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Most Read Football

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers1

Paper Talk: Carrick to replace Jose?

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United future continues to dominate the back pages.

Jose Mourinho in the Anfield dugout2

Man United sack Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United after two-and-a-half years as manager.

Michael Carrick on the Man United bench3

Carrick favourite for United job

Jose Mourinho's time as Manchester United manager has come to an end and we look at the main contenders to replace him at Old Trafford.

Our tips for the latest Carabao Cup games4

Carabao Cup betting preview

With 8/1 and 16/1 winners in the past few days, Tom Carnduff takes a look at Tuesday's Carabao Cup action.

Samuel Saiz (left) in action for Leeds against Middlesbrough5

Leeds confirm Samuel Saiz exit

Unhappy Samuel Saiz will leave Leeds United due to personal reasons and join Getafe.

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