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11th Mar 2018

What Jose Mourinho wrote down on his notepad proves he knew exactly how to unlock the Liverpool defence

James Dawson

It was picked up by TV cameras during Saturday’s game against Liverpool and it shows the Manchester United manager at his tactical best.

Jose Mourinho gets a lot of stick for parking the bus but there’s no doubting his ability as a manager. His status as one of the game’s greats was demonstrated again as United overcame Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Following the game, a note made by the Portuguese tactician – picked up by TV cameras at the ground – went viral, as it appeared to show that he hatched a plan to aim for a second ball off Romelu Lukaku, just seconds before a hoof upfield and a nod-on by Lukaku to Rashford, undid the Liverpool defence.

Lukaku won the first ball but Rashford, just as his manager had wanted, won the second, beating Trent Alexander-Arnold to the punch before lashing home the opener in emphatic fashion.

It also came after the manager singled out Lukaku for praise ahead of the game. He said: “He is an important guy for me. He is one of the guys that I trust. I love the attitude and the character.

“Against Crystal Palace, after our third goal, I told him [to play as a] central defender in a back five with Smalling and Lindelof because I could not make any more changes.

“So when I say to a striker, ‘Go there and do that job for me’, then he is a sergeant. He is a guy that you can trust. His attitude is phenomenal.

“That is why I told you many times that, for me, it is not just about the goals he scores, it is about what he brings to the team.

“And he brings to the team exactly that spirit.”

They’ll be calling with ‘The Psychic One’ before long.

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