Mourinho reacts to Champions League exit
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was honest in his appraisal of the disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla at Old Trafford, when speaking to MUTV and BT Sport.
The Reds conceded first, leaving a mountain to climb, when substitute Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to fire home smartly. The Frenchman added a second when David De Gea was unable to push away his effort and goalline technology decided the issue. Romelu Lukaku did pull one back, and there were other opportunities in a frantic finale but, in truth, Sevilla also had chances to score again, with De Gea denying Ben Yedder a hat-trick.
Attention will now turn to Saturday's Emirates FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford, the last realistic chance for silverware this season.
WHERE IT WENT WRONG
“I think the first goal is very important in a tie of this nature after a 0-0 draw away. It would always be a difficult match against a good team and, with the first goal for the mentality especially from the psychological point of view. The team started well but the goal was missing. The first half, we had everything under control. Sevilla were more than happy with 0-0 and that was exactly what they tried for. In the second half, we had chances and dangerous approaches but they scored before us. After that, we were on the edge and it was really difficult.”
LOOKING FOR MORE QUALITY AND MOVEMENT
“We always want more quality and movement but the players were completely free for that and we had good situations. I saw one just in front of me in the best period of the first half with Antonio Valencia, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford, which is exactly what we work for and this is exactly what we want. 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.”
“You can concede with more time to play. I said yesterday to the press, I expected this from them, this type of approach. They let the game go until a very dangerous period for us, which they did, and they scored a goal. After that, everything was more difficult as, especially, we had less time.”
“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. I feel exactly the same but we have no time for dramas. 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.”
NO TIME TO DWELL ON THIS
“It’s always good when you lose and play the next match soon. I think the more you wait, the more time you have to think about the defeat. With less time, we’re back to the training ground and a match on Saturday that we must try to win at home.”
UP FOR THE CUP
“Yes [we have to look at winning the FA Cup and finishing in the top four]. But a fantastic team like Tottenham has exactly the same target as us to do that. Liverpool have the Champions League but don’t have the FA Cup and that’s football and that’s life. We lost and tomorrow is another day. Saturday is another match.