Mourinho attacks Scholes: The only thing Scholes does is criticize

"It's nothing really important - just a little protection, but no problem", Mourinho told Sky Sports on Monday.

The match saw Morgan Schneiderlin feature against his former club, as the France worldwide midfielder lined up against the Red Devils.

When asked about Lingard's excellent progress this season after the win at Goodison Park, Mourinho feels the 25-year-old, who is becoming an increasingly influential figure for the Reds, is going "in a good direction" in his career.

The league's two highest-scoring teams - Manchester City and Liverpool - have more than adequately demonstrated that teams can be well beaten without a traditional number nine, with wingers Raheem Sterling and Mohamed Salah leading the scoring for their respective sides.

Martial, playing as a centre-forward for the first time since May 2017, finished with aplomb after finding space just outside the area in which to collect Pogba's neat pass off the left as Everton stood off, rewarding United for their energetic opening to the second half.

"Sometimes Pogba plays very well, sometimes he plays well and sometimes he doesn't play well".

It is said that, while United's hierarchy have always been well aware of Mourinho's propensity to speak candidly in press conferences, they are unhappy at what they see as a deliberate attempt to try to get them to spend.

The Red Devils now have six first team players sidelined through injury and, with fixtures coming thick and fast, Mourinho admitted that it is hard to rotate and give players the required rest.

"Our pride, our effort, everything was top class and on top of it we played very well", he said.

"But not every one of us has to be phenomenal like he was as a player".

"I hope that if one day he became a coach, he could achieve 25 percent of the success that I have had. If he's 25 percent, he'll be quite happy".

Meanwhile, the Red Devils closed the gap on leaders Manchester City - who also have a game in hand - to 12 points. We had to stop him to play because he was saying, 'I feel wonderful, I should go and play, ' but... we decided not to play (him). "I can not say", the Portuguese coach added.

The Englishman scored both goals on Boxing Day as United came from 2-0 down to rescue a home draw against Burnley, including an injury-time equaliser.

  • Julie Sanders