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Jose Mourinho Wants Manchester United to Sharpen Up

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho called on his players to stop spurning chances after they needed an 84th-minute equaliser from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to rescue a 1-1 draw against Liverpool

Manchester: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho called on his players to stop spurning chances after they needed an 84th-minute equaliser from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to rescue a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.

Paul Pogba squandered a one-on-one in the early stages of Sunday’s game and after his handball allowed James Milner to put Liverpool ahead with a penalty, United were left chasing the game.

Only seven of United’s 32 Premier League goals this season have been scored in the first 35 minutes and Mourinho wants his team to stop letting their opponents off the hook.

“We are having this problem for the whole season,” he told reporters at Old Trafford.

“We start matches normally very, very well and we don’t score many goals in the first half of the matches. Normally the first big occasion, the goalkeeper makes a phenomenal save.

“Every goalkeeper that comes here plays fantastic. That save (by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet) from Zlatan’s free-kick is an amazing save.

“And then Paul is in the face of the keeper and missed the target. We have always chances to be in front and it costs us (not) to score goals.”

Pogba this week became the first footballer to have his own Twitter emoji, which flashed up periodically on the perimeter advertising hoardings.

But the world’s most expensive footballer produced an error-strewn display and it was his needless handball that enabled Milner to break the deadlock with a 27th-minute penalty.

Ibrahimovic spared his teammates blushes late on, stooping to guide a header over Simon Mignolet from Antonio Valencia’s cross after substitute Marouane Fellaini had hit the post.

With 14 goals, Ibrahimovic is now the Premier League’s joint-leading scorer.

United, who had won their previous nine matches in all competitions, remain sixth, four points off the top four, while Liverpool trail leaders Chelsea by seven points in third place.

Mourinho, somewhat mischievously, said Liverpool had come to defend and likened their performance to the ultra-defensive display produced by his side in October’s 0-0 draw at Anfield.