Jose Mourinho’s immediate reaction to Manchester United’s winner against Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday night was there for all to see.
When Marouane Fellaini’s effort found the bottom corner for the only goal of the game, Mourinho responded by throwing some water bottles to the ground in celebration .
You can make of that what you will – and plenty are bound to after Mourinho’s comments on touchline behaviour in the past – but according to defender Chris Smalling, the boss cut a different figure in the dressing room.
Smalling played for the full 90 minutes as United kept a second clean sheet in a week at home, and when asked about the manager’s reaction to a win which secures qualification for the last-16 he responded positively.
“He was happy because we got what we wanted,”he said.
“We would have liked to have scored a couple more goals. At the end of the day, it’s winning and qualifying.”
Smalling has become one of the few constants in Mourinho’s defence this season, with the Portuguese very publicly demanding a new centre-back in the summer, but one failing to arrive.
Against Young Boys he was partnered by Phil Jones following an injury to Victor Lindelof, and Smalling says that the constant chopping and changing of his centre-back partners has been tough.
“It’s not ideal,” he said.
“I think you can see when you have a consistent partnership you can see there is less chances being given away.
“It is what it is and it’s something that we get used to and we’re used to playing with each other in training.”