José Mourinho will likely survive another matchweek at Manchester United thanks thanks to an incredible comeback led by players who have few reasons to play hard for their manager.
Things appeared to go from bad to worse for Mourinho early in the match against Newcastle. After a “grouchy, naturally, but resigned” press conference on Friday, his side fell down 2-0 in the first ten minutes with one of the goals having been scored by a former Mourinho-signee at Chelsea, Kenedy. Even as the team came out of the tunnel for the second half, one might have assumed that the Portugese manager had already accepted his fate having dropped Paul Pogba into a deeper defensive role, despite it being against the frenchman’s wishes.
Instead, the United players showed a fight to them not seen throughout the whole season, and clawed back into the game. Their first strike was a Juan Mata free kick.
Then came a beautiful goal from Anthony Martial off of a Paul Pogba assist.
Then it was the castigated Chilean’s turn to earn the adoration of the Manchester United faithful.
The common theme among the three goal-scorers is that they have all been on the receiving end of Mourinho’s tongue-lashings. Mata was cast aside at Chelsea, but the Portugese manager still had time to question his work ethic. Martial was publicly criticized for having the gall to attend the birth of his child. Alexis Sanchez, who’s arguably been one of United’s most disappointing players, was dropped in the team’s recent loss to West Ham. Even Pogba, who didn’t score but was the most important player in United’s comeback, has had well-documented spats with the manager.
But the question suddenly becomes what happens now? United, as terrible as they looked early on, did find the energy and strength to get a much-needed win. However, that was mostly because of the efforts of the players, and it doesn’t change how reportedly fractured the dressing room currently is. At the same time, suddenly sacking a manager who was at the very least present on the sideline during one of the team’s best games of the season is never a good look, and Mourinho isn’t the only problem within the club. All United fans can really do at this point is enjoy the fact that for a brief moment, the noise surrounding the club died down just long enough to look like the team they know and love.