Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United’s elimination from the Champions League to Sevilla in the round of 16 is “not the end of the world,” nor is it “something new” for a club whom he personally has knocked out in the past.
United were dumped out after Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat on a miserable night at Old Trafford, but Mourinho was adamant afterwards the performance from his side was “not bad.”
Mourinho also referenced his own history in dropping United out of the Champions League, having eliminated the Red Devils with Porto in 2004 and Real Madrid in 2013.
“I said that it would be disappointment if we would lose the match I don’t want to make a drama of it,” Mourinho said in his news conference. “We have a match on Saturday, we have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours and that’s football, is not the end of the world.
“I sit in this chair twice in the Champions League and knock Man United out with Porto and Real Madrid, so is not something new for the club, and of course being Man United manager and losing a Champions League tie at home is a disappointment.”
Sevilla have conceded 42 goals in La Liga this season and qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League despite shipping 12 goals in six games. United, however, only managed four shots on target across 180 minutes.
A dismissive Mourinho replied: “That’s statistics. I don’t think the performance was bad. I think the intention and the way we started was really good, really positive. In the first half I don’t remember a dangerous situation for them.
“We had again a good start in the second half and had chances to score and the first goal will always change the direction of the game and the first goal was for them.”
Mourinho was asked what had to change to get United back into the later rounds of the Champions League to which the 55-year-old answered “everything.”
“Everything has to change,” he added. “Everybody spends money, right? Not just us, no? It’s a natural process, every team invests.
“I don’t have regrets. I did my best, the players did their best. We tried, we lost and that’s football.”
Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice in a four-minute span, and though Romelu Lukaku got a goal back late on, Mourinho said it was impossible to overcome the two-goal deficit, with United needing to score twice more in the final 10 minutes to avoid going on on away goals.
“I think the first goal was always going to be important, not just because of the first leg result but also the profile of the match,” the manager told BT Sport. “We tried to be aggressive and intense from the first minute. We didn’t score and Sevilla progressively kept the ball, and they controlled the game well.
“We had good chances to score, but they scored one goal and from that moment everything became much more emotional. The second goal made it impossible.”
Sevilla, winners of the Europa League each year from 2014-16, now move on to the quarterfinals for the first time since the 1958 European Cup.
“I am very happy to win here in this special, historic place,” coach Vincenzo Montella said. “I am happy that the fans were here and that for the first time in 60 years we are in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, the players are happy in the dressing room they have Sevilla the club very firmly in their heart.”