Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side came up with a positive performance against Northampton Town in the 2016/17 EFL Cup clash on 21 September.
United went into the third round tie at the Sixfields Stadium after losing three consecutive games in the ongoing season including Premier League defeats to Manchester City and Watford and Europa League humiliation against Feyenoord. However, The Red Devils edged out Northampton 3-1 on Wednesday to set up a fourth round clash with Pep Guardiola's City at Old Trafford.
Despite starting with Wayne Rooney, who has been suffering a goal drought under Mourinho, the Portuguese tactician made nine changes to the squad that played Watford on Sunday.
Midfielder Michael Carrick, who made his second appearance for United in the ongoing season after his outing in the Community Shield game against Leicester City in August, made an immediate impact as he opened the scoring for the club at Northampton. Second half goals from Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford ensured Mourinho's blushes were saved after the hosts came up with an equaliser just before the break.
However, Mourinho was once again unhappy with a referee's decision on Wednesday. Northampton's Jak McCourt escaped what United felt should have been a red card after he came up with a harsh tackle against Memphis Depay in the second half. Notably, the 53-year-old manager has been blaming poor refereeing for his side's setbacks in the season.
"I think the team, as a team was in control from the beginning. The game could and should have been easier because we should have been playing against 10 men very early in the second half," Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
"I think I should stop to speak about referees' decisions. And I think I should be waiting for you, some with honest vision, some with a dishonest vision. But I should just wait.
"But we fought, they played with their strength and they tried to cause us problems, which they did sometimes, so a difficult match but overall a positive performance.
"I think the midfield worked really well and were in control of the game, and later when I changed [Morgan] Schneiderlin for Marouane [Fellaini] to try to control what I knew was going to happen with our opponent losing 2-1, which was start putting long balls in with set-pieces.
"But I think collectively the team was fine."
United, who are placed seventh in the Premier League table, will host defending champions Leicester in their sixth league game of the season on Saturday.