Jose Mourinho dedicates EFL Cup derby win to Manchester United fans
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said that his players had fought for the fans and lifted the gloom by winning their EFL Cup derby against Manchester City on Wednesday.
Juan Mata's strike gave United a 1-0 win over their local rivals at Old Trafford, sealing a home quarterfinal against West Ham United. It was a timely response from United, who continued to be backed by their home crowd, after they lost 4-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Mourinho told BBC Sport: "The players did everything and deserved to win. We are happy.
"In the last week, everything went against us but we are professionals. The fans felt deeply such a negative result and today was a good chance to clear that feeling because a derby knockout and to win gives everyone a better feeling."
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had fielded a weakened side, which gave a toothless display, meaning that he has suffered the longest winless sequence of his career -- six matches.
Mourinho's selection was stronger and, when asked if the Chelsea defeat played a part in that, he replied: "Yes. We were on a good run of results, but it was a big defeat -- numbers that the history of this club doesn't deserve and, when I'm in a club, my heart belongs to the fans and I felt deeply for them.
"The reality is that I never had people like these ones.
"We lost 4-0 and they were supportive. Today the stadium was full of real support and it looks like the love people have for the club is bigger than bad results, bigger than three bad seasons.
"We must give something back. The players gave everything but, even if we'd lost, the feeling was fantastic because the players showed they really care and they fought for the fans."
Goalscorer Mata said: "It was very important to win today after the defeat in London and it was a massive win for us. We gave 100 percent.
"It's a great feeling every time you score an important goal. It was a great feeling we left everything on the pitch.''
Press Association contributed to this report.
Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.