Mourinho salutes Manchester United's staying power

AFP , Sunday 27 Aug 2017

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho after the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 AP

Jose Mourinho praised Manchester United's perseverance as second-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini broke down Leicester City's massed defence in a tense 2-0 win.

United dominated for long periods at Old Trafford on Saturday, but were in danger of losing their 100 percent start to the Premier League season after Romelu Lukaku's penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Mourinho's men kept pressing and Rashford, sent on as a substitute moments earlier, finally gave United a deserved lead when he slotted home with 20 minutes remaining.

Fellaini, who also came off the bench, sealed United's third successive victory eight minutes from full-time to leave Mourinho full of admiration for the way they refused to be discouraged by well-drilled Leicester.

"I think we played very well. The blue wall was very well organised and I always give credit for that. They defended very well," Mourinho said.

"I think we played very well. The result was open at 0-0, but we kept calm and kept the ball.

"We missed a penalty but after that I saw the team playing with confidence. We deserved it.

"After the goal I have to say we were very good. If I have to choose a word to describe my team, I would have to say solid."

Mourinho refused to take credit for the substitutions that changed the game, preferring to deflect the spotlight onto his players.

"It's not me. If I don't have them on the bench I can't make successful changes," he said.

"The players are good and motivated. They work hard, they are waiting for a chance and they broke the wall."

United's flying start -- 10 goals scored and none conceded -- has some talking of the leaders as title favourites and Mourinho is encouraged by their displays.

"The difference (from last season) is in the quality of our football. The team is playing confident, great football," he said.

"I like my team very much but three matches and nine points is nothing new for us because last season it was three matches and nine points."

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