José Mourinho plays down Manchester United's Champions League exit


Jose Mourinho claimed early Champions League exits are not "something new" for Manchester United as he knocked the club out twice before taking charge at Old Trafford. They tried to do that and did that for the majority of the time. "After that, everything was more hard as, especially, we had less time".

Playing with caution in the away leg three weeks ago was understandable, despite the general acceptance that a 0-0 draw away from home is not so great a result these days.

"I've sat in this chair twice before; with Porto, Manchester United out, and [with] Real Madrid, Manchester United out". Juan Mata played really well against Liverpool - dropped.

Mourinho refused to answer a question from a Spanish journalist about whether going out of the Carabao Cup, Champions League and being so far behind in the league amounted to failure, on the grounds that he doubted it would interest a Spanish readership.

United have no such worries with their place at the top table already pretty much secure for next season. That meant Louis van Gaal had no European football to contend with in 2014/15 and United duly returned to the Champions League the following season after finishing fourth in the Premier League. They let the game go until a very risky period for us, which they did, and they scored a goal.

"We aren't thinking about what can happen later, only about overcoming the tie tomorrow". They are not in the same category as United when it comes to finances, to put it mildly. He already has the most expensive striker in the Premier League, the most expensive midfielder and the best-paid player. Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Romel Lukaku and the names and faces to showcase the 2018 Manchester United.

"We had a big game, as you know, against Liverpool [on Saturday]". But one will not even have to look to a different city because, as ashamed as a Manchester United fan may be to admit it, their once "noisy neighbours" would never resort to the dire and uninspiring brand of football on show at the increasingly ironically named "Theater of Dreams".

Backed by an incredible wealth of finance but also a man-management style that reaps the best out of talent, he is outwitting Mourinho's United, and all other title rivals included, in every way possible. Last week's demonstration has been brewing for a while and you can understand why the fans are so unhappy, but the harsh reality is that what they are doing is hurting the club even more than the directors are. "Never did until the last... until Sevilla scored, basically". This is the era of Manchester City, where children will grow up wearing blue shirts and the Etihad will be one of the most feared fortresses in world football.