After a narrow 2-1 defeat to Champions League and La Liga holders Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho believes the tie would have been a lot closer if it wasn't for a dubious goal that was in his eyes offside.
Speaking via the official website after the game, the Portuguese boss was keen to ensure his side remained focus for the new Premier League campaign, taking a number of positives from the closely-fought tie.
"Real scored when they deserved to score, when they were dominating, playing the ball best and creating more difficulties for us," said Mourinho. "But it was offside. Otherwise we would have been talking about 0-0 at half-time.
"I think we did well. We lost 2-1 which, I think, shows the result was really short, and one of the goals was offside so with a good VAR [video assistant referee] it would be 1-1 and extra time.
"We were playing a team full of fantastic players, we discussed the result until almost the end. We gave them a fight but have reasons to leave optimistic and proud. Let's go for Sunday."
With the game only separated by one goal that did appear to be onside, Mourinho praised his players for their efforts in difficult conditions, insisting the game was even for large periods.
"They could have scored more goals than they did, we could have scored more goals than we did," added Mourinho. "They had a period of dominance at middle of the first half and we had a period of dominance at middle of the second half.
"The group is fantastic and Marouane Fellaini is an example of spirit we have. I am so happy to be manager of these guys and told them I have never had a group I like as much as I like them. I am going to fight with them all the way."
The outcome of the game could have changed if the VAR system was used correctly.
Nevertheless, over the 90 minutes Real Madrid outplayed the Red Devils and were deserved winners. Manchester United now turn their attentions to Sunday where they will face West Ham in the Premier League opener at Old Trafford.