Jose Mourinho says Southampton deserved to take Man Utd to extra-time in EFL Cup final
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 27/02/17 8:41am
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admitted he was feeling the pressure in the EFL Cup final and thought Southampton deserved to take the game to extra-time.
Having led 2-0 through goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard, United were pegged back by Manolo Gabbiadini's double either side of half-time.
But Ibrahimovic headed home the winner in the 87th minute to give Mourinho his first trophy at Manchester United.
"It's not easy to win titles, and so many times," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "It's not easy to cope with that pressure that I put myself under in my career. It was a game in which I was feeling the difficulty.
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"I want to give Southampton the credit they deserve. We have the cup but we should be now playing extra-time."
Having played three games in the last fortnight while Saints have not been in action at all, Mourinho admitted his side might have struggled if there was an extra 30 minutes.
"I could feel the difference of freshness between one team and another," he said. "I think if it went to extra-time we would have been in trouble. So I had to compact the team and try to give some stability because the fuel was in their [Southampton] legs, not in ours.
"Zlatan won the game for us. He was outstanding. I can see a couple of performances at a similar level, for example [Paul] Pogba. But he was outstanding.
"In a match where our opponent was better than us for long periods of the game and they deserved extra-time, not to lose over 90 minutes, he made the difference and gave us the cup."
While the trophy is the first for Mourinho at Old Trafford, there could be the chance to win more this season as United are still competing on three fronts.
And Mourinho said: "For the development of the team there is nothing better than the feeling of trophies.
"Now we have Bournemouth in the Premier League, Rostov in the Europa League and Chelsea in the FA Cup, so we have so much to play."