Jose Mourinho feels there’s everything to play for in the second leg after Manchester United’s stalemate against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Reds were held to a goalless draw in southern Spain in the last-16 first leg but were thankful to heroics from goalkeeper David De Gea in the first half to keep an important clean sheet.
It leaves the tie finely balanced heading into the return fixture at Old Trafford on Tuesday 13 March.
Read what the boss had to say in his post-match interview with BT Sport and in his post-match press conference…
ON THE RESULT AND PERFORMANCE
“I think the only moment where we felt relieved was in the last couple of minutes in the first half, when there were a couple of our mistakes in possession and they had a couple of good situations with two David great saves and that gave this fantastic stadium the emotion that normally they have for 90 minutes. Apart from that, I was never relieved. The game was even. The stats are what it is. Sometimes you have 15 shots, but 13 of them were what I call 'statistic shots', so I really feel that the result reflects what the game was. You ask me, ‘is it a good result?’. I say, it’s not good, it’s not bad. We have two legs to play and we have one match to decide everything at Old Trafford. For sure, Old Trafford misses knockout Champions League. Yes, last season we had Europa League knockout, which obviously is not the same. In previous years, I think we were out in the group phase, so I think Old Trafford is a big Champions League night we want to have.”
OLD TRAFFORD MISSES BIG EUROPEAN NIGHTS
“If we draw with goals in the second leg, we are out. If we win, we are through. It’s difficult. I believe that Old Trafford misses a big European night. We had the quarter-finals and semi-finals last year but the Europa League has a different meaning.”
POGBA GAVE US STABILITY
“I think Paul made a big effort to try to give the team what I ask the team. I started with Ander and Scott. I think a fantastic player like Banega is, he wasn’t, because he didn’t have the space to be the Banega that the world of football admires and Paul replaced Ander. He tried to bring to the game the same kind of qualities plus his security with the ball. Of course, he lost a couple of possessions, but he gave us also stability. We had a good percentage of possession for the way we play and the match away at home against a good team like Sevilla; we had a good percentage of the ball and that means control of the game. I think Paul had responsibilities on that and I am also happy with Matic. I think the three midfield players, they had good control and Paul was part of it.”
PRAISE FOR MCTOMINAY
“In the press conference, the questions were about Paul [Pogba] but the question should be about the kid. He was fantastic. He did everything well. He put pressure on Ever Banega and stopped him playing, he's their playmaker. I think Scott was brilliant. The midfield started really well and Paul made a big effort to go into the dynamic when he came on and he had a positive performance. He looked a senior player, he looked a player with great maturity, with tactical sense, with a sense of responsibility, good in possession, good in the pressing. I think Scott McTominay looked a man with dozens and dozens of matches in the Champions League, when this is only the second one.”
DE GEA ‘IS WHAT HE IS’
“I think the clean sheets are because of the team and because of David [De Gea]. But, we also kept a few clean sheets with [Sergio] Romero in goal, so I think the team even with a couple of mistakes, the team defended well and when we made the mistakes, obviously David was there. And that’s the reason why he is what he is.”