José Mourinho believed the failure of Craig Pawson, the referee, to award a penalty for a Maya Yoshida handball on 32 minutes was crucial as Manchester United were again unable to claim victory. The contest ended in a third consecutive draw for Mourinho’s side, meaning they have dropped six points out of the last nine.
Yet the manager also pointed to further penalty claims in the 2-2 results with Leicester City and Burnley as reasons why they did not win those matches. The bottom line is, though, that United have slumped to third position and will be 17 points behind Manchester City should their rivals defeat Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Of the penalty claim, Mourinho said: “I watched on the touchline and it looked for me very clear but there was 50m distance so I [at first] give the referee the benefit of the doubt. I know my players so when I see people like [Juan] Mata almost in hysterics I know, no doubt, and then at half-time I watch it.
“It is a penalty like [Marcus] Rashford against Leicester, [Ander] Herrera against City. [Jonathan] Moss, [Michael] Oliver and Craig tonight are good referees. So the referees’ performances in these matches were good – these were unlucky decisions that punished us.”