Jose Mourinho: Man United 'have to kill matches' but 'we don't score goals'
Jose Mourinho faulted Manchester United's forwards for Thursday's Europa League quarterfinal first-leg draw with Anderlecht, saying they must develop a killer instinct.
United looked likely to go into the second leg at Old Trafford with a 1-0 lead thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan's first-half strike before Leander Dendoncker scored late to frustrate the Premier League side.
Dendoncker's header was the only shot on target of the game for the hosts, and while Mourinho called his back line "very solid," he was less complimentary of his forwards for not providing a larger cushion.
"We have to kill matches," Mourinho told BT Sport. "We had chances, control, but ... we don't score goals ... we risk.
"There was lots of space to kill, good chances. Lots of chances that we don't get because of a bad touch, sloppy touch, a flick, bad decisions in the last third. There was a team with good organisation at the back, but one mistake and we were punished.
"In my poor English I cannot find a better word [than sloppy]. You have to play more seriously. Put the performance of two or three of our attacking players together and you squeeze not much juice out of it. [Marcus] Rashford, [Jesse] Lingard, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Anthony] Martial. They were very similar.
"But the people behind very solid, very focused. The defenders did the serious work, but the people who had to kill the game didn't.
"We start the game at Old Trafford in front, but we had all the conditions to kill the game."
While United's away goal in the 1-1 draw could prove decisive, a 14th draw of the campaign in all competitions clearly irked Mourinho, and he suggested his defenders should also be angry with their teammates.
"The result is positive," the United boss told the postmatch news conference. "To play at home with an advantage, to start the game with an advantage, is a good result in any case. But I think the result should be much better and we can only blame ourselves because we had an easy game to play in the second half and we didn't play in attack with that instinct.
"We lost the ball easily too many times, we stopped our counter-attacks because of sloppy touches, sloppy decisions. And then we gave them the opportunity to have some counter-attacks that luckily our defenders were very much in the game and they resolved all these problems.
"But if I was a Manchester United defender, I would be very upset with the attacking players because they have to kill the game and they didn't."
Asked what he can do about United's poor finishing, Mourinho retorted: "Good question, difficult answer."
Michael Carrick agreed with Mourinho and said United need to be more ruthless in killing off teams.
"It was frustrating but we were so in control in the first half and we got sloppy," he told BT Sport. "We've got to kill teams off and we were in control of the game but we didn't do that. It was frustrating but we didn't do that and we should have won that game comfortably.
"I'm completely disappointed really. We need to be more ruthless and kill things off, it's as simple as that. It's too comfortable. It was almost too easy at times and we got sloppy and lost possession. It's one of those scorelines where it's dangerous
"We look at the result and obviously it's not the end of the world for us and we're still in a good position going into the second leg, but it's frustrating and we're better than that. We stay positive and look forward to the next game and if we play well we'll go through.
"We dominated. There were a lot of good things. It's not easy coming away in Europe and dominating games."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.
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