Jay Rodriguez’s header saw off Manchester United and handed the title to rivals Manchester City, much to the annoyance of Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho described his Manchester United players as “masters in complication” after their 1-0 home defeat to West Brom handed the Premier League title to Manchester City.
United knew avoiding defeat against the league’s bottom side would have delayed their city rivals’ coronation again, having battled from two goals down to win at the Etihad last weekend, but they turned in an insipid performance which was duly punished by Jay Rodriguez’s 73rd-minute header.
Mourinho’s side twice came close through Romelu Lukaku but they scarcely threatened the Baggies over the course of a turgid 90 minutes.
The Portuguese was unimpressed with his players’ efforts and attacked their lack of fluidity and desire to take too much touches.
“I think we were deservedly punished,” he told Sky Sports.
“We were masters in complication, everything was complicated.
“We didn’t want [to play] or couldn’t play simple, everything was slow, one more flick, trick, turn.
A stirring comeback against Pep Guardiola’s men last weekend prevented United’s neighbours from winning the title and Mourinho suggested that dramatic result created complacency in his side.
“I won eight titles and I am not [over] the moon because I won against Manchester City,” he added.
“I saw lots of people [over] the moon because we won against City. You could see the difference in the attitude to players compared to last week.
“We deserve to be punished, but the defeat was too heavy.”
240 – Manchester City’s 240 day total at the top of the league in 2017-18 is just one day fewer than Manchester United have spent at the top of the Premier League (in season) since Sergio Aguero’s goal won the title in May 2012 (241). Noisy.
Juan Mata echoed comments from Mourinho, accepting United were far below the required standard in defeat to West Brom.
“It’s a big disappointment. A bad day and a bad result,” Mata said. “Everyone is disappointed. We didn’t play well at all and it’s a bad afternoon for us.
“After beating Manchester City we wanted a winning spirit until the end of the season but today was one of those days. We didn’t create enough chances to score and West Brom were fighting for survival.
“It hurts [for Manchester City to win the title]. Our aim is to keep this second position. It is not ours yet and we need to be very clear about that. Today was a very bad day and we need to move on.”
“Football is an unpredictable game. Sometimes, these things happen.”