“That is the Manchester United that we want to see”

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Is Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho making a point without star midfielder Paul Pogba?

United won 4-1 over Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday, building a 3-0 first half lead through Juan Mata, Ashley Young, and Romelu Lukaku goals.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 4-1 Fulham ]

Mourinho’s quotes on team attitude for a second-straight match will be read with a critical eye given Pogba’s status as an unused sub, a few days after being used off the bench.

“The players have shown they can be a better team than they are. When there is solidarity in the team, everyone giving their maximum, you attract more positive things.”

Mata, who scored his 50th Premier League goal, was glowing after the Red Devils’ performance.

“It was the start that we needed. We know that we have to start better because it is not right to always be chasing the game. We need these performances more often. The fans today enjoyed it: That is the Manchester United that we want to see.”

United is off to Valencia at midweek but has already qualified for the Champions League knockout rounds and seems likely to focus its attention on Sunday’s visit to Liverpool.

Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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  • Man Utd 10W-1D in last 11 vs. Palace
  • Palace’s last win at Old Trafford came in 2011 League Cup
  • Man Utd leads all-time 36W-10D-7L

Will Manchester United’s young players respond to the latest hail of public criticism from boss Jose Mourinho when the Red Devils host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold, online via NBCSports.com)?

The United manager used part of his prematch press conference to question the character of and rip into the “spoilt” nature of young players like Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, and Marcus Rashford.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

United lost its last match before the break, a two-goal defeat in the Manchester Derby no less, and will be itching to get back in the win column after slipping seven points back of the Top Four.

Palace has earned just one point from the last 18 available, though plenty of that is aided by a fixture list which sees United at the end of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Spurs.

What they’re saying

Manchester United’s Juan Mata on Palace“When they play away also because they defend quite compact and they go for the counter-attack, so we need to be ready for that and we need to know what we’re going to face. We need to try to score, try to win and try to enjoy it. Obviously, we’re always respecting the opponent, and Crystal Palace deserves that respect.”

Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson on Wilfried Zaha“I think that his attitude to each and every game, be it a home game here at Selhurst Park against a team lower in the league or whether it’s a top match against the Manchester Uniteds, Cities and Liverpools is that he goes out each time to give a performance, to go and do what he knows he’s good at doing. We try to profit from that as best we can by getting the ball to him and hoping he can weave that magic which he’s capable of and win us the matches. I believe in his abilities.”

Prediction

Who knows what Mourinho is doing with his comments, but United is facing a wounded Palace? The Eagles would be forgiven for looking ahead to Burnley and Brighton, but might Zaha have enough magic to get them a result at Old Trafford? We’ll hand a 3-1 to United.

Sterling’s show-off moment enrages Guardiola

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Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata didn’t like Raheem Sterling‘s showing off late in the Red Devils’ loss to Man City in Sunday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium.

His manager Pep Guardiola liked it even less.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

Sterling had a wonderful day in City’s 3-1 win and was fresh off signing a new contract with the reigning Premier League champions.

But that was all for nought by the time Guardiola met Sterling on the field after the final whistle.

“I don’t like it when you make some movements with the hands. They know how to play simple and they did it but at the end he made the move with the legs and I didn’t like it so much. But again he’s young and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen again.”

[ MORE: 4 things | Player ratings ]

Man Utd stuns Juve with late comeback

AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
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  • Ronaldo puts Juve ahead
  • Substitute Mata levels with free kick
  • Young cross turns into late Juve o.g.
  • De Gea stars

Juan Mata froze Wojciech Szczesny with a free kick, and a hopeful Ashley Young cross turned into a match-winning own goal for Manchester United in a 2-1 defeat of Juventus in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho walked onto the field after the final whistle and cupped his hand to his ear before engaging in arguments with Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala.

United trailed 1-0 in the 86th minute and becomes the first team to beat Juve in a group stage match in Turin since 2009.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a pretty goal of his own for Juve, who stays atop Group H with nine points. United has seven, two more than Valencia, with two matches to play.

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

Both teams had chances to threaten goal and plenty of decent possession in the first half hour.

Sami Khedira stung the palms of David De Gea with an otherwise unremarkable shot in the 32nd.

De Gea made a fine save moments later as Juve ratcheted up its pressure, and then got help from the goal post when Khedira half-hit a point blank chance.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Paulo Dybala curled a pretty left-footed effort off the cross bar as the second half found its legs early.

Alex Sandro bladed Ashley Young during a United buildup, and saw yellow for his troubles in the 55th minute

Ronaldo got his goal in Willie Mays style, watching a long ball over the top over his shoulder and onto his right foot for a laser finish past De Gea in the 65th.

Miralem Pjanic and Juan Cuadrado both missed the frame with chances to make it 2-0.

Jose Mourinho brought Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata on for the final 11 minutes, and the former immediately helped set Marcus Rashford up for a rip wide of Wojciech Szczesny’s near post.

Moments later, a hopeful cross defied Szczesny when Juve was uncharacteristically mixed up on the goal line. No matter for Mourinho’s Man Utd, who authors a famous win.

Chelsea grabs late equalizer vs. Man Utd as chaos engulfs finish

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  • Rudiger gives Chelsea lead (VIDEO)
  • Chelsea out-attempts Utd 21-7
  • Martial scores twice in 18 mins
  • Barkley ties it at the death

Chelsea scored in the sixth minute of stoppage time, igniting skirmishes on-and-off the pitch in a 2-2 draw between the Blues and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea assistant Marco Ianni charged in front of Jose Mourinho, pumping his fist inches from the Manchester United manager’s face before screaming at the boss on the way back. Mourinho and his staff had to be separated from getting to the Chelsea bench.

Anthony Martial‘s second half double looked to have given Jose Mourinho and Manchester United a marquee win.

Juan Mata was a key part of both United goals, as United moved to 14 points. Chelsea could drop from its table lead to as low as fifth pending other results.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Manchester United was extremely lively, rewarding Mourinho for going attack-first with his lineup, and Romelu Lukaku just missed with a looping header after the first quarter-hour.

But it was Paul Pogba who let the team down.

The superstar midfielder let Antonio Rudiger use a pick to create some space on a corner kick, and couldn’t catch up to the German. Rudiger powered Willian‘s offering across goal and David De Gea couldn’t get a hand on the header. 1-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

United got a deserved equalizer when Kepa Arrizabalaga saved Juan Mata’s 54th minute effort. It wound up back atop the box, where Marcus Rashford‘s shot deflected to Martial in the catbird seat. 1-1, 55’.

There were chances for each team to go ahead, but it was that fella Martial who did the trick again.

It came via a terrific team play. A long ball allowed Mata to flick delightfully by a mark and into the right corner. Chelsea was very scrambled, as Mata fed Rashford, who found Martial for a pretty finish.

Olivier Giroud thought he’d won a penalty off Victor Lindelof in stoppage time, but it was far too hopeful.

David De Gea denied Rudiger a second, but Barkley slotted the loose ball to set off chaos at the Bridge.