Jose Mourinho hails Manchester United's 'beautiful' first-half display against Fulham
Man Utd beat Fulham 4-1 to end four-game winless run in Premier League
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 09/12/18 8:03am
Jose Mourinho described the first half of Manchester United's 4-1 win over Fulham as "beautiful" and "perfect" as his side returned to winning ways in the Premier League.
First-half goals from Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku steered United towards a comfortable win at Old Trafford.
Aboubakar Kamara's penalty reduced the deficit in the second half, but after Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was sent off, Marcus Rashford rounded off the victory late on - United's first in the league since November 3.
Mourinho was delighted with United's opening 45 minutes in particular, but commended opposing manager Claudio Ranieri for posing his side problems after the break.
"The first half was really good," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "We gave no chances to Fulham. We were strong, aggressive and intense. At moments it was beautiful, collective football. The first half was perfect.
"The second half was Ranieri's fault. He made two changes that improved his team and gave us problems that we didn't have in the first half. I also think there was some fatigue in some of my players. An accumulation of factors made the second half not as good as the first.
"We were intense without the ball and with the ball. Without the ball we pressed, we kept Mitrovic away from the goal. And then intense with the ball, simple, one or two touches. It was really good."
Victory saw United move back up to sixth in the table, and it followed a four-game winless run in the league which saw them lose at Manchester City before drawing with Crystal Palace, Southampton and Arsenal.
Mourinho added: "Of course we needed it. The last three matches we didn't lose, but didn't win. Now we have two away matches, then two at home. Let's see if we can get more points from those matches.
"The players have shown they can be a better team than they are. When there is solidarity in the team, everyone giving their maximum, you attract more positive things.
"When you have on the pitch people that run and press, and then with the ball want to play simple football, it is attraction, and attracts more positive things."
Meanwhile, right-back Diogo Dalot put in a man-of-the-match display in what was only his second league start of the season, and Mourinho had high praise for the 19-year-old, who joined from Porto in the summer.
"He's fantastic for a 19-year-old boy," Mourinho added. "Physically he is very strong, technically he is very good. Attacking he is fantastic, his crosses - if you touch the ball you score, because he crosses with such speed.
"From a defensive point of view obviously he has things to learn, he's a 19-year-old boy."