Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jose's Praise for Defensive Duo

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Jose's Praise for Defensive Duo

Article excerpt

JOSE Mourinho believes Phil Jones and Chris Smalling sparked United's improvement against Stoke after a 'difficult' first half.

The Reds went in at half-time 2-0 up through terrific strikes from Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial but Stoke threatened an equaliser and Jones made a goalsaving block from Maxim Choupo-Moting at 1-0. Mourinho's players were more intense in the second period and Romelu Lukaku added to the scoreline to give United their first Premier League win at Old Trafford since December 13. Smalling has started every United league game since September 30 and Jones is enjoying a fine campaign under Mourinho, who praised the England duo following United's victory.

"Didn't like the first half, I only like two amazing goals," Mourinho said. …

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