Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that Brighton & Hove Albion deserved better than defeat after his side’s 1-0 Premier League win over the promoted club at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Red Devils needed a late own goal from the Seagulls’ Lewis Dunk to secure all three points in what proved to be a tough test from Chris Hughton’s side.
The result saw United cut the gap on league leaders Manchester City to five points ahead of their rivals’ trip to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho stated the Seagulls should have gone home with at least a point.
“I want to be honest and give them what they deserve, for me probably they deserve more than the result they got,” he told reporters in his post-match press conference.
“They played really well, they had a good defensive organisation and then when they had the ball they were dangerous. Honestly I think Brighton was very, very good.
“I think we were more spirit and heart than quality. Sometimes to play with too many attacking players doesn’t mean you are offensive. We had a lot of attacking players on the pitch but we lose a bit of control in midfield.
“It is the reality of football sometimes, to have too many attacking players on the pitch, sometimes you lose balance and don’t create many chances.
“They gave us probably the hardest match we’ve had this season. We had amazing chances a couple of days ago [against Basel in the Champions League] and we couldn’t score, today we did it.
“Congratulations to them for their performance, congratulations to my boys. My boys they didn’t play well but they gave everything. The boys they don’t deserve bad words from me.”
Next up for United is a trip to high-flying Watford on Tuesday night.