José Mourinho urges Manchester United to go toe-to-toe with City in derby

José Mourinho urges Manchester United to go toe-to-toe with City in derby

Manchester derby: United beating City does not sound so strange after Champions League win over Juventus

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United must learn how to start matches well after a season in which falling behind in matches has become the norm.

Mourinho targets area where he wants improvement from Manchester United

United were behind again against Juventus in midweek before hitting back twice in the last two minutes to win 2-1 and although Mourinho admitted his side were solid early on in Turin, he knows they cannot afford the sloppy starts that have been all to frequent recently.

Mourinho said: “If we keep conceding goals before the opponent, it will arrive the day where we cannot come back. So, we have to make sure we grow up not just in our approach, – because that I think is clear that the team is growing up – but also we have to grow up in our compactness and to start matches well. Which, I have to say against Juventus, it happened.”

United face neighbours City at The Etihad on Sunday and Mourinho, who would not be draw on the reports surrounding City cheating FFP regulations, says striker Romelu Lukaku could return.

Romelu Lukaku could be available again following a hamstring injury. Mourinho said: Lukaku is training with the team this [Friday] morning. If his response is positive – and we have of course one more session tomorrow – he is ready.

Romelu Lukaku missed the trip to Turin after picking up a hamstring complaint on the eve of the 2-1 win at Bournemouth, but the striker could make a welcome return at the weekend.

The goal record is astounding, both by Serie A standard and considering that Icardi is playing for a club who fought gamely merely to finish in the top four last season. Since August 2017, Icardi has played 46 Serie A and Champions League matches and scored 38 goals. Watch him make a succession of runs without being found, challenge for aerial duels and keep two central defenders busy and you quickly become convinced that Icardi is the perfect central striker. He also has enough passion for Inter’s entire squad to share between them.

Mourinho added: “Lukaku is training with the team this morning. We have of course one more session tomorrow, but if the answer is positive, he’s ready. But in this moment, I can only say he trains with the team. I don’t know his answer.”

Manchester City’s punishing form If shock home defeat to Lyon instantly killed Manchester City’s complacency, that was bad news for every team who would have the subsequent misfortune to cross their path. If the 0-0 draw at Anfield was a result of Pep Guardiola’s fear of being counter-attacked to death and Riyad Mahrez’s late missed penalty, it was the only fly in the luxurious ointment. Since Lyon, City have scored 33 goals in 11 matches and conceded only twice.

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