Jose Mourinho avoided explaining his apparent dismissal as Manchester United’s assistant Rui Faria stepped in for press duties and offered a sarcastic riposte on the decision to send off Ander Herrera against Burnley.
Mourinho was not in the dugout or on the touchline after the interval and having taken a seat in the front row alongside supporters, he eventually relocated to the directors’ box, from where he saw Herrera sent off as United failed to beat an inspired Tom Heaton.
Mourinho had been furious when referee Mark Clattenburg turned down Matteo Darmian’s penalty appeal for a Jon Flanagan challenge just prior to the half-time whistle and his protestations may have accounted for the subsequent removal from the bench.
The United boss, who was this week charged by the Football Association for comments made about referee Anthony Taylor, was seen passing notes down to his coaching team during the last 45 minutes but it was left to Faria to field questions on what occurred with Mourinho.
“To be fair I don’t know and I don’t think it’s very important,” he replied. “What is important is what the referee will write in his report. Apart from that, I can’t give you more details. It happened with them.”
Herrera had picked up a second yellow card for a challenge on midfielder Dean Marney in the second period, which seemed to be a result of a slip rather than indicative of an malice, and Faria’s view was laced with sarcasm.
“About that, I just want to say, fantastic work from the referee,” he responded.
United rained in 37 efforts in total but were unable to find a way past their former player Heaton, who defied Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a star-jump stop reminiscent of the ones that became Peter Schmeichel’s trademark at this ground.
Captain for the day Juan Mata hit a post and Ibrahimovic spurned a glorious opening at the death as United dropped another two points at home following the draw with Stoke earlier this month.
“For sure Jose is happy,” Faria said.
“I am not here to say we are very happy with players’ performances if that wasn’t the feeling from all of this. We tried and we created many chances, their goalkeeper was the best player on the pitch. Things didn’t happen, I believe better days will come.”