Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side’s title hopes are “probably” over after 2-1 loss to “lucky” neighbours and title rivals Manchester City.
City widened the gap on top of the Premier League to 11 points thanks to Manchester derby victory at Old Trafford, and became the first team to win 14 successive English top-flight games in a single season.
They took the lead when man-of-the-match David Silva hooked home from close range after confusion at a corner on 42 minutes.
Although United appeared to have been handed a lifeline in first-half stoppage time when poor defending from Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph allowed Marcus Rashford to steal in for a composed finish. However, Otamendi quickly made amends nine minutes after the break when Romelu Lukaku — who had a poor game — lashed at a clearance in the area and the City defender pounced on the rebound to score.
Still, Mourinho took issue and focused on an incident in the 79th minute, when Ander Herrera went down in City’s box under a challenge from Otamendi but was booked for diving instead.
“I think they are a very good team, they are lucky, they have decisions in their favour,” Mourinho said. “My first reaction is that I feel sorry for Michael Oliver. The referee is a human being and he tried his best. He was very committed to have a good match, which I think he had, but made one mistake, which was a crucial mistake.”
Regardless, City has only dropped two points in their first 16 league games. Although they had numerous opportunities to extend their lead, it was their keeper Ederson who made the decisive late intervention with a miraculous double late save from the Romelu Lukaku and substitute Juan Mata.
When asked whether the title race was now over, Mourinho answered: “Probably, yes. Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them.”