Jose Mourinho hugged a reporter for asking about the performance of Scott McTominay instead of Paul Pogba after Manchester United's 0-0 draw with Sevilla, before going on to shower the young midfielder with praise.
Pogba's status in the United squad has been a hot topic of late, with the Frenchman dropped at the start of the month against Huddersfield Town in the Premier League.
Reports then began to circulate claiming Pogba and Mourinho had fallen out, before the midfielder was left out of the FA Cup win over Huddersfield at the weekend due to illness.
Mourinho has constantly insisted McTominay deserved his initial chance after replacing Pogba, becoming frustrated in news conferences when quizzed on the former Juventus star rather than the United youth product.
But that changed on Wednesday, with Mourinho asked about the performance of McTominay, not Pogba, who only featured because of a 17th-minute injury to Ander Herrera.
And, in response, Mourinho said to BT Sport: "Can I hug you?
"That's a [good] question, because when I went to the press conference all the questions were about Paul.
"I think the questions should be about the kid [McTominay]. I think he was fantastic. He did everything well.
"He put pressure on [Ever] Banega which was important to stop their playmaker playing. He was always comfortable, simple, saving in possession – he was brilliant.
"But I also think, in my opinion, the midfield started well before Herrera had to go out, and then Pogba made a big effort to go into that dynamic, the dynamic we needed and he gave a positive performance."
The result in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan leaves the tie wide open ahead of the return leg at Old Trafford and Mourinho has called upon supporters to create an atmosphere similar to the one Sevilla fans produced on Wednesday.
"It's a match in our house," he said. "I believe Old Trafford misses a big European night.
"Of course last season we had the Europa League, but that has a different meaning. The year before we had no Champions League, so I think OT needs and they can create a similar atmosphere as here and push us to win a difficult match."
|Umar Akmal faces anti-corruption unit after making spot-fixing claims|
|This will not be Pogba´s last World Cup - Deschamps|
|South Korea v Germany: Reus and Werner wary of pace and Son|
|Alderweireld aims to earn his Spurs against in-form Kane|
|Serbia v Brazil: Mitrovic ready to inflict World Cup agony on Brazil|
|Debuchy signs three-year Saint-Etienne deal|
|France won´t be extra motivated by Hareide barbs - Deschamps|
|Ryans descend on Russia - Socceroos keeper reveals 27 family members at World Cup|
|Alonso hopes French GP result was a one-off for McLaren|
|Messi ´not guilty of anything´, insists Maradona|
|Egypt keeper El Hadary makes history as World Cup´s oldest player|
|Guerrero to give Jedinak ´big hug´ for help battling ban|
|Eurovision and World Cup glory in the sights of eternal optimists Iceland|
|As long as we win, I don´t care who scores - Werner relishing World Cup experience|
|Wigan head coach to switch codes after being handed Scottish Rugby role|
|Switzerland v Costa Rica: Lang shrugs off Shaqiri controversy|
|Runners and Ryders: Watson jumps two places, Casey into automatic spot|
|Fekir offered contract extension, reveals Lyon president|
|Which F1 races has Lewis Hamilton not won?|
|Return to Sevilla would be a dream, says Layun|
|Paine: Don´t write off Australia´s World Cup defence|
|Gareca: My Peru future? I´ll give an answer soon|
|Bayern Munich´s Friedl to see out loan deal at Werder Bremen|
|Hooper out for at least a month, Folau set for hearing|
|Skoko backs former team-mate Dalic to take Croatia ´quite a way´ at World Cup|
|If Iceland go forward, we will go forward - Lada replaces longboat in Norse odyssey|
|Morata ´too expensive´ for Dortmund - Zorc|
|Hearn questions ´deluded´ Wilder´s desire for Joshua fight|
|Belgium game a ´perfect dress rehearsal´ for England, insists Carragher|
|World Cup permutations: How can Argentina qualify for last 16?|
|Bulldogs playmaker Foran out for season|
|RFU chairman offering no guarantees over Jones future|
|Algeria looking for new coach after parting ways with Madjer|
|Cahill still has something to offer Australia - Bosnich|
|Fear has discouraged Danes from travelling to Russia, says Sorensen|
|Reds rally to complete four-game sweep of Cubs|
|Arzani ready for Socceroos start against Peru – Skoko|
|Braves place closer Vizcaino on DL with right shoulder inflammation|
|West Indies hold slight edge against Sri Lanka|
|Don´t touch my Grizou – Pogba defends France team-mate|
|Yankees catcher Sanchez likely heading to DL|
|Messi is frustrated and hungry – Mascherano|
|Nainggolan the ´ninja´ Inter were missing, says Spalletti|
|Anthony fires back at Thunder fans unhappy he´s staying|
|MLS Review: New York City edge Toronto in Torrent´s first game|
|Watson shoots 63 to win Travelers for third victory of season|
|Iran contest not all about Ronaldo, insists Santos|
|Truex´s team use tricky strategy to win at Sonoma|
|World Cup 2018: England at home, Brazil´s party and exploding White Nights in St Petersburg|
|Pogba reveals ´issues´ with Mourinho|
|Mascherano plays down rumours of Sampaoli bust-up|
|Sweden winger Durmaz says racist abuse ´passed limit´|
|Morgan hails ´outstanding´ Buttler century|
|Paine to discuss ODI future after England whitewash|
|Cuper unsure of Egypt future as El Hadary nears milestone|
|Koepka ´shutting down´ until Carnoustie|
|Quintero and James plot Colombia´s way through uncharted territory|
|Federer upbeat despite shock Halle defeat|
|Journalists should round on Vettel - Verrstappen|
|Poland 0 Colombia 3: Falcao´s maiden World Cup goal revitalises Pekerman´s side|
|World Cup 2018: Cossack kids, Swan Lake and the Selecao in Rostov-on-Don|
|Maria takes maiden title in Mallorca|
|Hierro: I am 100 per cent the coach of Spain|
|Busquets recognises Iniesta´s burning ambition|
|Denmark v France: Tolisso hoping for second chance|
|Eight-try Wakefield hammer sorry Widnes|
|World Cup 2018: A panda, a tapir and a nightmare for Willy in Nizhny|
|Senegal´s Wague makes African history in World Cup|
|Cilic fights back to beat Djokovic in enthralling Queen´s final|
|Neymar and Suarez among players to send Messi birthday wishes|