"They weren't performing at their normal level but we were in the game, we fought hard and we were closer to winning than losing". One team wanted to win, another team wanted to draw, but the team that wanted to draw fought hard for that.
It was a tempestuous affair on the touchline, with Hughes shoving Mourinho away from his technical area during the second half, before the Portuguese left the dugout at full-time without offering a handshake. "My players, after the global break, are not the same".
"They defended well, they counter-attacked and in set-pieces they are powerful".
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mourinho bemoaned Stoke's tactics as defensive - despite them becoming the first team to breach his backline this term - and claimed the match was "a game for [Marouane] Fellaini", given the willingness of United's opponents to take the aerial route.
United soon woke up and troubled their opposition in a similar fashion, as Lukaku latched on to Rashford's pass and crossed towards Pogba, whose back-heeled effort was deflected behind. Sometimes, because they're not used to having to take negative results, sometimes they react in the wrong way.
Romelu Lukaku then fired United in front in the second half but Choupo-Moting's second in the 63rd minute earned Stoke a point.
Stoke sucker-punched United with a fine Choupo-Moting strike.
Mourinho saw poor defending for both of the Cameroon international's goals cost his side a fourth successive victory at the start of the season, but he declared himself pleased with United's position on top of the table, ahead of Manchester City on goal difference. "No problem - these things are part of the game", the manager said.
Jose Mourinho admitted Manchester United were well below their best as the Premier League leaders were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at Stoke on Saturday. We're going to try and play well and score goals.
Lukaku should have scored again late on, but he missed the target from close range and an irritated Mourinho was left wondering what might have been. "I don't speak about stupid things, I'm too old for that, talking about stupid things is for stupid people".