Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho felt Chelsea did not deserve to win the FA Cup, accusing them of defending with “nine players” in Saturday’s final at Wembley.
Chelsea won the competition for the eighth time after Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty gave the Blues a 1-0 victory.
However, Mourinho felt Manchester United were the better team throughout.
“I congratulate them but I don’t think they deserved to win,” he said.
“I congratulated them. I am Manchester United manager and I have to be respectful, not just because they are my previous club but because they are the opponents today and I think we deserved to win. I think we were the best team, but that is football.
“I am quite curious to know what you say or what people write because if my team plays like Chelsea did, I can imagine what people would say. I am quite curious.”
United did not have a shot on target in the first half but were much improved after the break as Thibaut Courtois superbly denied Phil Jones’ header before Paul Pogba nodded wide when unmarked.
Mourinho felt his side missed the physical presence of Romelu Lukaku in attack, with the Belgium striker having started on the bench after recovering from an ankle injury.
“It was a bit hard for us to play without Lukaku against a team that defends with nine players,” added Mourinho. “You need that presence.
“Chelsea are not stupid. They know our team without Lukaku or Marouane Fellaini does not have a presence so putting eight or nine players in front of the box they knew they would be dominant in that direct football.
“Every defeat hurts but I go home with the feeling we gave everything. No regrets.”
Chelsea goalscorer Hazard accepted Mourinho’s assessment that Chelsea were too defensive.
“We tried to defend well,” he said. “We kept a clean sheet, we scored one goal, it is enough today but if we want to win a lot of games we need to play better because we had to play defensively.”