LONDON (AP) — Just when Jose Mourinho needed it most, Manchester United dug deep to pull off a gutsy victory.
The under-fire manager still managed to lash out at detractors after the 3-2 victory over Newcastle on Saturday, claiming he would even be blamed for the weather and the progress of Brexit negotiations.
Following a newspaper report that he could be fired because of poor results and frequent criticism of his players, Mourinho was a picture of abject misery on the touchline as United went 2-0 down against Newcastle after only 10 minutes of their English Premier League match at Old Trafford.
An animated Mourinho reacted with fury, screaming at his players and gesticulating wildly.
In a five-minute span in the second half, United equalized. The winner came in the 90th minute, when substitute Alexis Sanchez headed home and United ended a run of four matches without a win in all competitions.
Mourinho was relieved but still irritated by weeks of criticism.
“As a friend of mine was saying to me this morning, if tomorrow it rains in London it is my fault,” Mourinho said. “If there (are) some difficulties with the agreements of Brexit, it is my fault.
“I think a lot of wickedness, and clear man-hunting, in football is too much. It is my life. It is a life I love, and since I was a kid I work for this.”
United moved six points behind front-runners Manchester City and Liverpool, who play on Sunday. Tottenham, which beat Cardiff 1-0, is a point off the pace in third.
Newcastle, winless in seven previous league outings, could scarcely believe its luck early on in Manchester. Wing back Kenedy, a former player of Mourinho’s during his second spell at Chelsea, sprinted through the middle of the defense to open the scoring in the 7th minute.
Within three minutes, United’s sleepy defense allowed Yoshinori Muto to turn easily in the penalty area and beat goalkeeper David de Gea with a low shot.
An embarrassed Eric Bailly took on the role of United fall guy when Mourinho hauled off the Ivory Coast center half after only 19 minutes and replaced him with midfielder Juan Mata.
Mata, though, pulled a goal back when he curled in a free kick in the 70th. Six minutes later, Anthony Martial cut inside after swapping passes with Paul Pogba to equalize with a venomous low shot.
Sanchez completed the fightback.
“Marcus Rashford was sad on the pitch, Scott McTominay was scared on the pitch,” Mourinho said of the way two of his young players performed in the first half. “Even older players commit mistakes that are not normal.
“At halftime we had a good conversation. We didn’t promise that we would win the match. We promised we would give absolutely everything without any fear, without any pressure, just the pressure of giving everything, and of course they gave everything. We fought so much.”
With after Everton enjoying a man advantage after Leicester captain Wes Morgan was dismissed, Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a stunning goal in the 77th to seal a 2-1 win.
The Everton playmaker collected Idrissa Gueye’s pass before a quick turn away from Leicester’s James Maddison allowed him to take a touch and unleash a bullet from 25 yards (meters) into the top corner of the net.
DIER LIFTS SPURS
Eric Dier struck his first club goal in 18 months in the 8th as Tottenham made it three victories in as many league matches and left Cardiff still searching for its first win.
Cardiff was reduced to 10 when Joe Ralls was sent off in the 58th minute at Wembley Stadium.
Striker Joshua King scored two goals and set up another to inspire Bournemouth to a 4-0 win at Watford, which had Christian Kabasele sent off in the 33rd minute. Wolverhampton won at Crystal Palace 1-0, and Huddersfield moved off the bottom of the standings by drawing 1-1 at Burnley to collect only its third point.
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