Manchester United’s emphatic late victory over Juventus in Turin has marked a much-improved run of results for Jose Mourinho and his men who just six weeks ago, had been thrown out of the League Cup and been given a hiding by West Ham.
While the performances can arguably still leave a lot to be desired, Mourinho and his team finally seem to have a bit of luck on their side, collecting four wins, one draw and one loss in their last six matches.
What has changed?
There have been several factors towards the improved run of form, the biggest factor for the Red Devils in the last match has been Anthony Martial whose prolific form has seen him bag five goals in his last four Premier League games.
Before the month of October, Martial had not yet found the net in the league, a month later, he is just two goals off the leading goal-scorers and if he continues this form, might even become a golden boot candidate.
Another major factor has been some consistency with selection with Mourinho having named consecutive line ups for the first time in years recently as well as playing the same two centre backs alongside each other for an extended period which has seen Victor Lindelöf finally start to show his abilities.
The biggest factor though seems to be the fighting attitude that suddenly seems to be present across the squad. After a disappointing late draw to Chelsea and loss to Juventus, United recorded a good win against Everton before two last minute come-back saw them beat Bournemouth and then Juventus.
What this means for Mourinho
Well another month of safety for starters. Assuming City do not run riot at the Etihad on Sunday, Mourinho has bought himself some time at Old Trafford thanks to the win in Turin.
Before Wednesday, Juventus were undefeated in all competitions and after having gone 1-0 up looked set to continue this. But, and almost most importantly, thanks to the United substitutes, Mourinho managed to complete one of the greatest come-backs in United’s recent history.
For a man under so much scrutiny and pressure, the importance of this result cannot be overstated.
Roll on City
Unfortunately for Mourinho, football is an unforgiving and ruthless sport and as a result, a poor performance against rivals Manchester City on Sunday will mean that the heroics against Juventus will soon be lost.
Manchester City are in scintillating form having scored 12 goals in their last two games and will be looking to take this into thee clash against their arch rivals.
With the international break looming, Mourinho has a chance to silence all his critics and secure his position in the dug-out for probably the rest of the year at least should he pull off a victory.
A heavy defeat or poor performance on the other hand and Mourinho will have two more weeks of questions and media speculation before he is able to get back out there and do the talking on the pitch.
United’s game on against City could prove to be a defining moment in the club’s season and in Mourinho’s career and come Sunday, all eyes will be locked onto the Etihad.