Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists his side produced their best performance of the season despite failing to overcome winless Stoke yesterday.
Former Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen snatched a late point for the Potters, capitalising on a rare blunder from United goalkeeper David de Gea, after substitute Anthony Martial had swept the hosts into the lead.
The draw, which ended United’s three-match winning streak across all competitions, left Mourinho’s outfit sixth, five points behind leaders Manchester City, while Stoke moved above Sunderland to 19th.
“My view is simple, the best United performance this season,” said Mourinho. “It could have been three or four nil at half time, six or seven nil at full-time, but the result is 1-1.
“The result is very undeserved. But I repeat, it was much better performance than against Leicester [United won 4-1]. Against Leicester, the result made a lot more than the performance and today was exactly the opposite.”
Moments after taking the field, Martial found the top corner of the otherwise impressive Lee Grant’s net on 69 minutes after being found by fellow substitute Wayne Rooney. Grant had made a string of saves to keep United at bay.
But Allen stabbed home with eight minutes remaining after Jon Walters’ follow up from De Gea’s spill had cannoned off the crossbar, while £89m midfielder Paul Pogba struck the woodwork with a late header.
Premier League champions Leicester, meanwhile, played out a tame goalless draw with Southampton, whose in-form striker Charlie Austin came closest to breaking the deadlock with a shot which hit the post.