Jose Mourinho responded to questions regarding Manchester United's pursuit of Alexis Sanchez.

By 90Min
January 16, 2018

Jose Mourinho admitted he was happier with his side's second half performance after a disappointing opening 45 minutes during their 3-0 home with over Stoke City.

Manchester United ran out comfortable winners after two spectacular first half strikes from Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial gave the home side a 2-0 at half time before Romelu Lukaku added a third in the second half.

Despite going in at the break 2-0 up, Mourinho admitted in his post-match interview with MUTV that he was more impressed with his side's second half performance and labeled their first half as 'poor'.

He said: "I think the first half was not very good, I think Stoke had a good, positive attitude. We scored an amazing goal, but it was not enough to hurt them because they had a very good reaction.

"They were very positive, they had the best chances in the first half, and then we were a bit lucky to score the second goal, another beautiful one.

"In the second half it was different, the second half was harder for them, 2-0 was difficult for them to react to, we were in control of the game. They just had the one chance at the end with Diouf when we were 3-0 up with amazing goals. 

"We had lots of chances to score the third goal and to kill the match before we did. But to say the match was in our control from the beginning, I wouldn't say that because I think they [Stoke] were good. In the second half we improved, we moved the ball quicker, we had faster transitions, we passed the ball and recovered the ball and we created them problems."

When asked for his thoughts on the gap at the top being narrowed to 12 points, Mourinho admitted the gap was still big but reassured he is taking one game at a time. 

He added: "I think the distance between first and second is still big, distance that normally, the leader controls. I've been there before, you play without pressure, you play with confidence, you play with a tranquility that you can slip and make a few errors no problem, so it's up to them [Manchester City] to keep the confidence and to control their destiny. 

"But it doesn't matter what the points distance is to me, what matters is that every match we have to win and we have to try and finish in the best possible position."

His interview with Sky Sports had a particularly different focus. During the game, it was reported that Manchester City formally ended their interest in Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, seemingly leaving the door open for United to sign the Chilean.

When questioned on the matter, Mourinho said: "I'm not confident, but also not unconfident, just relaxed with the feeling that he is an Arsenal player.

"With a feeling that he can stay there and also with the feeling that he can move. If he moves, I think we have a chance but I think most probably a player like him has other big clubs interested and who knows? I think Mr. Wenger and Mr. Gazidis are the ones that know really what is going to happen."

United won their first home Premier League game in three games and have cut the gap at the top down to 12 points. They'll be hoping to keep the pressure on their rivals with more performances like they put in against Stoke.

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