Jose Mourinho admitted that Manchester United were in total control during their 3-1 win over Northampton Town in the third round of the EFL Cup. The manager was satisfied with the players' performances and reserved special praise for the midfield, which consisted of Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera.
The Red Devils went ahead after 17 minutes via a well taken goal from Carrick, who was making his first appearance of the season, but were pegged back after the League One side levelled the game via a penalty just prior to the interval. Mourinho made a double change 10 minutes into the second-half bringing on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford which swung the momentum back towards the Premier League side. Herrera scored the second goal in the 68h minute and the 18-year-old forward made sure of their progress to the fourth round in the 75th minute with the third goal.
"We deserved it. It was as I was expecting. We were totally in control for the first 35 minutes and then we were back in control for the last 25 minutes," Mourinho told United's official site after the win.
"As a team we had control from the beginning. I think the substitutions were just a contribution and, overall, the team was completely in control.
"I don't want to individualise too much, I think he [Carrick] was fine and I think the midfield worked really well in the control of the game. I changed Schneiderlin to Marouane to try to stop what I know was going to happen with our opponent losing 2-1, which was for them to put long balls into the box and waiting for set pieces. But I think collectively the team was fine," he added.
The Portuguese manager again called into the question the referee's decisions during the game, something that has happened in recent weeks following United's back-to-back losses against Manchester City and Watford in the Premier League.
The first was the penalty decision, which the manager suggested that he would not elaborate on, while the second was over a tackle from Jak McCourt on Memphis Depay. Mourinho believes the midfielder should have seen red and that United should have been playing against 10 men in the second-half.
"Well, I think I should stop speaking about the referee's decisions and I should just wait for you to speak about it. Some with an honest vision, some with a dishonest vision, but I should just wait a couple of minutes. I know I talked about the red card, but that was a dangerous situation, and I am not speaking about the penalty. I am speaking a situation that could happen and what could have been an important injury. Even in this kind of situation I should stop and leave it with you."
The Old Trafford club have progressed to the fourth round with their win over the League One outfit, and will now have a chance to avenge their recent derby defeat after they were drawn against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the last-16. The matches are scheduled for the week commencing 24 October.