March 18, 2018

Jose Mourinho stands by his Manchester United flops following Champions League exit

14 March 2018, 06:50 | Sandy Nunez

Manchester United and Alexis Sanchez were knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla. More

Manchester United and Alexis Sanchez were knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla. More

Marouane Fellaini has silenced his critics during his five years at Manchester United, but when handed his first start since November for a crucial Champions League second-leg tie, it sums up precisely where the team is right now under Mourinho.

A needlessly conservative performance from Manchester United was punished with embarrassing Champions League elimination as Jose Mourinho's side fell to a sloppy 2-1 defeat against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

But they have now moved into the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition for the first time since 1958, having drawn the first leg 0-0.

"I told you yesterday that it would be disappointment if we would lose the match."

"I sat in this chair twice in the Champions League after knocking out Manchester United (in the last 16) at home, at Old Trafford", Mourinho said.

Trying to get United back to the levels of the Alex Ferguson era is a hard enough task but he must do so while the club down the road, once mocked by Ferguson as the "noisy neighbours", win titles and universal praise for their style of football.

"That is something that pleases me because I feel exactly the same but we have no time for dramas because on Saturday we have to work as we have an important match".

United now face Brighton in the FA Cup at the weekend and Matic wants to turn his focus to that competition.

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"We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours".

However, Mourinho said there was nothing wrong with the team's attitude. While what he has done since have produced mixed results (two more league titles with Real Madrid and Chelsea but undignified exits from both clubs), I've always regarded him as one of football's greatest serial winners. "We tried, we lost and that is football".

"Even myself, I thought they were going to press a little bit more, but the first 20 minutes we saw that we could keep the ball, we could play our possession game the way we like and we just kept going until the end".

Mourinho finished by insisting losing is part of the natural process, and when asked what needs to change, he said: Everything, everything together.

"I knock out Manchester United at home at Old Trafford".

"We have to forget this". It's not just changing for changing sake, it's a natural process.

Lukaku's development, particularly in his link-up play, is one positive United can take from the campaign, but they need to build on it by getting the best out of him in their biggest games.

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