Mourinho praises Southampton EFL Cup final effort

Manchester United manager felt Saints would have had the advantage if extra time had occurred

Manchester United, Jose Mourinho, EFL Cup, final

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho lifts the EFL Cup Trophy. Picture by John Walton EMPICS Sport

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has praised opponents Southampton after the EFL Cup final, stating his belief that they deserved more.

United needed a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic winner to overcome the Saints who had fought back from 2-0 down and also had an early goal incorrectly ruled out for offside.

The EFL Cup is Mourinho's first major trophy as Manchester United manager and second bit of silverware after winning the curtain raising Community Shield in August.

Speaking after the final, Mourinho admitted that Southampton would have deserved to take the fixture to extra time after an impressive display at times on the Wembley stage.

"I want to give Southampton the credit they deserve. We have the cup but we should be now playing extra-time," said the former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager to Sky Sports.

With United having been in continental action in their Europa League second leg against Saint Etienne away from home on Wednesday, Mourinho feels they would have struggled in a hypothetical extra 30 minutes if Southampton had managed to push to that point.

"I think if it went to extra-time we would have been in trouble. So I had to compact the team and try to give some stability because the fuel was in their legs, not in ours," he said.