Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho defends performance after Sevilla elimination

United managed just three shots on target but Mourinho refused to criticise his players

Mark Critchley
Old Trafford
Tuesday 13 March 2018 23:57 GMT
Jose Mourinho says Manchester United exit 'not the end of the world'

Jose Mourinho defended his Manchester United side’s performance after suffering elimination from the Champions League last-16 at the hands of Sevilla.

Two away goals from substitute Wissam Ben Yedder ended United’s hopes of progression as Mourinho’s players put in a drab display, managing just three shots on target.

The United manager defended his side’s display after the final whistle, insisting that they had enjoyed the better of the game until Sevilla’s second-half strikes.

“I don’t think the performance was bad,” he said. “I think the intention and the way we started was really good, really positive. Then after 10-15 mins of that success without goals, Sevilla has a good team and they can hide the ball.

“In the first half, I don’t remember a dangerous situation for them. It was good control from them but without any kind of danger. We had again a good start in the second half and had chances to score.”

Mourinho added: “The first goal will always change the direction of the game and the first goal was for them. Sometimes I am lucky with my changes and sometimes other managers are, it was a good change by Vincenzo [Montella, the Sevilla manager] to bring on Ben Yedder.”

Mourinho went on to dismiss any suggestion that this was a tie that United should have won given their stature and level of spending in comparison to Sevilla’s.

When asked whether United’s performance was acceptable, he simply replied: “Yes.” The United manager claimed not to be concerned by his side’s total of four shots on target over 120 minutes, dismissing the figures as “just statistics.” When a Spanish journalist asked whether he was concerned that United now must win the FA Cup to end their season with silverware, Mourinho question why a member of the Spanish press would be interested in the “intricacies” of United’s season.

Mourinho described United’s elimination as a “disappointment”, but called for focus ahead of Saturday’s sixth round tie with Brighton and Hove Albion.

“I don’t want to make a drama of it, we don’t have time we have a match on Saturday. We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours. That’s football, it is not the end of the world,” he said.

“I sit in this chair twice in the Champions League and knock Manchester United out with Porto and Real Madrid so is not something new for the club.

“Of course, being Manchester United manager and losing a Champions League tie at home is a disappointment.”

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