Manchester United drew 1-1 with Liverpool at Old Trafford as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a header to rescue his side a point.
And it seems Jose Mourinho’s tactics to increase their chances of finding a late equaliser may have been down to his decision to axe the previous ball boys and girls.
According to the Mirror, Mourinho was unhappy with the ball boys and girls provided by the Manchester United Foundation and chose to have players from their Under-16 team for Liverpool’s visit.
The Portuguese boss wasn’t satisfied with the timing or delivery of the ball back to his players and as a result he drafted in youngsters from his youth ranks who he felt could do a better job.
Jose Mourinho wasn't happy with the ball boys and girls provided by Manchester United Foundation
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A United insider told the paper: “The manager wasn’t happy with what was on offer before from the ball boys and girls. He wanted a much slicker operation — especially when United are on the attack or time is running out.
“He felt by bringing in lads from the Academy teams — boys who understand the nuances of the game and the urgency of certain occasions, it would help speed up play at crucial moments.
“Of course, people may speculate whether opponents are given the same courtesy if they are on the attack or chasing the game.”
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Jose Mourinho brought in younger players to be ball boys for Liverpool's visit
Zlatan Ibrahimovic rescued his side a point with a late header
A United official confirmed Mourinho’s actions, saying: “Yes it’s true that Jose did change the ball boys for the Liverpool game.
“Prior to that, the task was carried out through the Manchester United Foundation but the manager changed it against Liverpool and brought in boys from one of the Acadamy teams.
“We aren’t sure what will happen at future games.”
United left it late once again yesterday to score an equaliser as Wayne Rooney curled in a free-kick in injury time to become the club’s record goalscorer.