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Mourinho wails over childish players in Leicester draw

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hit out at the decisions of his players at the end of the match against Leicester City. Reuters/David Klein

Four days after a stoppage time goal at Bristol City ended their run in the Carabao Cup, Manchester United conceded a late equaliser at Leicester City to fall 13 points behind Premier League pacesetters Manchester City.

On Wednesday night at Ashton Gate, United boss Jose Mourinho praised the tenacity of the Bristol City players, hailed their luck and pointedly refused to make too much of his own side’s lack of motivation.

On Saturday night at the King Power Stadium, the Portuguese could not contain his irritation at the immaturity which allowed Harry Maguire to level in the 94th minute.

“In the last couple of minutes, we allow the opposition to throw a few balls into the box, said Mourinho. “I cannot stop the game and give a team talk.

"For the last two minutes the players had to immediately adapt, to read the game, which they didn't. There was a lack of maturity so we had childish decisions in front of goal and bad decisions as it was not just about the goals we missed, or dribbling or hitting the post.”

After 19 games of the 2017/2018 season, Manchester City have 55 points from a possible 57. At the same stage in 2016, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea - who went on to win the title - had 49 points from 57. Liverpool were second on 49 points. City were fifth with 39 points.

Fast forward one year and City, after notching up their 17th consecutive win with a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday, boast an advantage that has never been witnessed in the English top flight.

"It is as bad as a defeat," added Mourinho. "Sometimes you take a point and you say: 'OK', and you accept it as it was hard to get a positive result.

"That is not the case here. It is a game to win easily. It is a big frustration as they are easy goals to score and easy goals to kill the game but not just the goals we missed, also some easy way out to counter-attack where we lost the ball quite easily.”

Jamie Vardy opened the scoring for the hosts in the 27th minute. Juan Mata levelled just before the pause and the Spain international gave United the lead on the hour mark.

Anthony Martial and Jesse Lindgard missed good chances to move United 3-1 ahead. The visitors were also aided when Leicester City were reduced to 10 men. Substitute Daniel Amartey was sent off in the 73rd minute - only 16 minutes after his introduction - for two bookable offences.

Even with that advantage, United could not inflict further damage. And the impotence led Mourinho into public soul searching about the capabilities of his men.

"Some players, they have childish decisions and time helps them to have maturity and to decide better. But some other players stay with childish decisions until the end of their career."