Jose Mourinho set for return to the FA dock

Man United 1 West Ham 1
Jose Mourinho faces what is rapidly becoming a bi-weekly meeting with the FA disciplinary department after his nemesis, referee Jon Moss, sent him to the stands during Manchester United’s fourth consecutive home draw.

The Portuguese manager kicked a water bottle fully 20 yards, exploding in anger after Moss booked Paul Pogba on 27 minutes for simulation after he went down under a challenge from Mark Noble.

It was a decision that infuriated Mourinho and, in turn, his response will hardly fill the FA’s corridors of power with overwhelming joy when they come to work this morning. 

Another high-profile case, bad publicity and swingeing punishment, surely await the serial offender.

Less than a month ago, Mourinho served a one-match touchline ban, and was fined £8,000 (€9,400), for an outburst at Mark Clattenburg during a goalless draw with Burnley; an incident preceded by a £50,000 (€58,733) fine assessed after he questioned whether referee Anthony Taylor was the right man to referee a game against Liverpool.

Further, last season, Mourinho was handed a stadium — not a mere touchline — ban after Chelsea’s visit to West Ham after he stormed into Moss’s dressing room at half-time to complain and had to be removed by stadium security.

Mourinho’s disciplinary transgressions are mounting more quickly than his team’s league points after another frustrating Old Trafford afternoon, although the manager’s deputy Rui Faria, speaking at the press conference instead of his boss, felt him hard done by.

“I think everyone saw his frustration was shown in that situation,” said Faria.

“It should have been a free-kick for us and it ended with a yellow card for Paul and he is out of our next match.

“So there are maybe reasons to express some frustration. I think everything comes from a decision that should be the opposite way.”

Television footage seemed to suggest otherwise and Pogba’s dive cost his manager some money and suspension while ruling him out of the midweek EFL Cup quarter-final tie with the same opponents at Old Trafford.

It is safe to assume West Ham will return on Wednesday full of confidence. 

They took a second-minute lead when Jesse Lingard brought down Dimitri Payet, who took the resulting free-kick and planted the dead ball onto the head of Diafra Sakho, who slipped marker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and converted powerfully from six yards.

United’s Swedish international made up for that error on 21 minutes, however, when he headed the hosts level from similar distance, with the most precise of finishes, after connecting with Pogba’s excellent pass.

It was no more than United deserved for the way in which they responded to going behind so early in the contest, and had Marcus Rashford been sharper when he raced clear on the end of Phil Jones’ 36th-minute header, they might have won three much-needed points. Instead, the impressive Darren Randolph denied him.

“It’s certainly up there (with my most memorable) games although I’d have liked to be less busy,” Randolph said.

“When you’re having a good day, you’re having a good day.

“It was tough and like the Alamo at times, but that’s what it takes when you come to these places.”

Randolph had a fine outing and deserved a couple of moments of second half luck.

On 76 minutes, Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit the post and Jesse Lingard converted the rebound from a clearly offside position, while Ibrahimovic beat the keeper to a late through ball and he needed Cheikhou Kouyate to come to his rescue and clear.

That aside, David de Gea was required to save a clever Payet free-kick early in the second half, and block a late shot from Ashley Fletcher, to make sure that Mourinho’s meltdown was not even more severe. 

“We were the best team on the pitch,” insisted Mourinho’s ‘spokesman’ Faria. “We didn’t have any tactical issues during the game. Defensively we were very compact. Offensively we created the chances to win.

“We are showing that as a team we are a strong side and we can do very good things. We create chances that in a normal way should be goals and the game should be in a comfortable way. It is not happening. We get frustrated. The only thing we need to do is keep working because then things will change for us.”

For his opposite number Slaven Bilic, under pressure but heralded by his club’s supporters throughout the game, the performance and result hinted at the possibility that this might be some sort of turning point although, naturally, all the headlines will be dominated by Mourinho and his ill-discipline.

“I don’t know if he deserved to be sent off, I don’t know the rules,” said Bliic. “I don’t want any manager, especially him, to be sent off. It is hard to judge from our angle if it is a dive or a foul so I can understand it but I don’t want him to be sent off

“I have seen him. We didn’t talk about the mood but he is a gentleman. I like him.”

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea 6; Valencia 7, Jones 8, Rojo 7, Darmian 6; Herrera 6, Pogba 7; Mata 6 (Mkhitaryan 64, 7), Lingard 6 (Fellaini 84), Rashford 5 (Rooney 64, 6); Ibrahimovic 7.

Subs not used: Blind, Young, Romero, Schweinsteiger.

WEST HAM (3-4-3): Randolph 9; Kouyate 7, Collins 7, Ogbonna 8; Antonio 6, Obiang 6, Noble 7, Cresswell 6; Lanzini 6 (Ayew 74, 6), Sakho 7 (Fletcher 65, 6), Payet 8 (Feghouli 90).

Subs not used: Nordtveit, Zaza, Adrian, Fernandes.

Referee: J Moss 6.

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