Jose Mourinho relieved after gutsy Man United rally to beat Newcastle

Credit PA

Rafael Benitez's relegation strugglers had looked good value for the three points when leading 2-0 at half-time, but goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez turned the match on its head in the second half.

Yoshinori Muto managed to turn inside the area before firing an effort beyond David de Gea.

The former-United captain insisted that the second-half display showed that the United players are behind Mourinho, despite media reports suggesting otherwise.

But even with these distractions, United surely have the edge in the club-in-crisis, broken-badge stakes.

United officials have since denied that they are about to pull the trigger on Mourinho who has presided over a hugely disappointing start to the season in all competitions.

Earlier, Mourinho responded to the criticism coming his way by claiming United overachieved in finishing second last season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, adding he always expected this campaign to be more hard.

"[We have had] recovering time for the players that played against Valencia and good work for the others that obviously were in ideal condition to train", Mourinho added.

Credit PA
Credit PA

"The results they had against the top teams didn't get them points yet this season, but gave them very, very close results and very hard matches for the opposition".

Bailly had not earned a start in the league since the 3-2 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion in August, and he could be facing a long wait for his next one given his display here. "He can get players to play for him".

Should United and Mourinho part ways, the choice of his successor will be crucial as the Manchester club look to return to competing with the likes of City and Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

United entered Saturday having taken just 10 points through seven games - their fewest at that stage of a top-flight campaign since 1989.

According to the Mirror, Mourinho has lost the confidence of the board with "senior United sources" telling the paper that the Portuguese coach's almost two-and-a-half-years in charge will end whatever the outcome of the league game against the Magpies.

Rafa Benitez's side take on Manchester United this evening in a televised game (5.30pm kick-off). It's unacceptable. I have to say that Jose Mourinho will get the biggest support he's ever had in his life in that ground and I'll be there to give it to him.

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