Jose Mourinho refused to make any excuses following Manchester United’s disappointing last-16 exit from the Champions League on Tuesday, insisting that his team’s exit was “nothing new” for the club.
United crashed out of Europe’s premier competition following a 2-1 home defeat to La Liga club Sevilla after drawing 0-0 in Spain in the first leg.
Two goals from Sevilla sub Wissam Ben Yedder did the trick for Vincenzo Montella’s side, while Mourinho decided to use a rather strange analogy when quizzed about United’s failure.
“I’ve sat in this chair twice before in the Champions League, and I knock Man Utd out at home twice, with Porto – Man Utd out, and with Real Madrid – Man Utd out. So this is nothing new for this football club.
“I don’t want to make a drama out of it, we don’t have time for that. We have a match on Saturday, we have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours. And that’s football, it’s not the end of the world.”
Mourinho said that United had failed to capitalise on a good start.
“I think the intention; the way we started was really good and really positive. Then after 10, 15 minutes after that success without goals, Sevilla has a good team and they can hide the ball.
“They have players in midfield who are really good at that. They tried to do that and did that for the majority of the time. In the first half I do not remember a dangerous situation for them, so I think it was a good controlled performance by them without any kind of danger.
“We had dangerous situations in the first half, and had again a good start in the second half and chances to score. Of course, the first goal always changes the direction of the game.
“Sometimes I am lucky with changes, sometimes other managers are lucky with their changes, and I think it was a good, happy move by Vincenzo to bring on Ben Yedder, and when they score the first goal the game is completely different.”
Yes, he really did say this. It’s an insult to fans. Mourinho: “I don't want to make a drama of it. That’s football, it is not the end of the world. I sit in this chair twice in the CL and knocked Man United out with Porto and Real Madrid so it is not something new for the club.”
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) March 14, 2018
Mourinho also dismissed questions about why United had managed just four shots on target over the two legs.
“That’s stats, that’s statistics,” he said, before adding he was happy with the attitude of his players.
“We always want more quality and movement but the players were completely free for that and we had good situations.
“We had good periods. I don’t think we had control of the game because the opponent had that, but I cannot say that my players had something wrong in terms of their attitude and their intention to play.”
He said that with the FA Cup tie against Brighton approaching there was no time for the players to mope around.
“Of course, everybody is sad and I told the players in the dressing room I’m happy with this sadness. Really happy with that.
“There is not time to be sad for a long time, though. We have a match on Saturday and hopefully the players will be back on the training ground and focused on that important game. I said for the two matches against Sevilla and Brighton, if you win you are in and, if you lose, you are out.”