Mourinho masterminds a very defensive success

By Stephen Creek 17 February 2017
Mourinho masterminds a very defensive success

Jose Mourinho hit the headlines with his jibes about Chelsea being "a very defensive team" but the Manchester United manager has been quietly turning his own side into a force to be reckoned with at the back.

The Red Devils' 3-0 victory over Saint-Etienne in the Europa League marked the first time the club has won three consecutive European matches without conceding a goal since November 2010, when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge.

Chelsea's impenetrable rearguard might have caught Mourinho's attention lately, but United are performing brilliantly at the back by the Portuguese's own standards, becoming the first of his teams to keep five consecutive clean sheets since he achieved that feat with Real Madrid in 2011.

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero has been a key player in United's solid displays in Europe: the 29-year-old has recorded six successive shutouts and has not conceded a goal for the club since Northampton Town's Alex Revell scored a penalty in September 2016.

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