Jose Mourinho says Manchester United’s Champions League exit is “nothing new” for the club, surprisingly referencing how he has knocked them out twice as a manager.
Mourinho’s side put in a lacklustre performance on Tuesday as Sevilla won 2-1 on the night and on aggregate in the last 16, despite United being overwhelming favourites after the first leg.
In his post-match press conference, Mourinho insisted he accepted his side’s performance, despite registering just four shots on goal over two legs, and referred to his victories over United as manager with Porto (2004) and Real Madrid (2013).
Mourinho said: “I’ve sat in this chair twice before in the Champions League, and I knock Man Utd out at home twice, with Porto – Man Utd out, and with Real Madrid – Man Utd out. So this is nothing new for this football club.
“I don’t want to make a drama out of it, we don’t have time for that. We have a match on Saturday, we have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours. And that’s football, it’s not the end of the world.”
The Portuguese boss, who started with Marouane Fellaini in midfield before substituting him for Paul Pogba with half an hour remaining, defended his side’s performance, insisting the first goal by sub Wissam Ben Yedder was crucial.
He said: “I think the intention; the way we started was really good and really positive. Then after 10, 15 minutes after that success without goals, Sevilla has a good team and they can hide the ball.
“They have players in midfield who are really good at that. They tried to do that and did that for the majority of the time. In the first half I do not remember a dangerous situation for them, so I think it was a good controlled performance by them without any kind of danger.
“We had dangerous situations in the first half, and had again a good start in the second half and chances to score. Of course, the first goal always changes the direction of the game.
“Sometimes I am lucky with changes, sometimes other managers are lucky with their changes, and I think it was a good, happy move by Vincenzo (Montella) to bring on Ben Yedder, and when they score the first goal the game is completely different.”
Asked to comment on the four shots on target over two legs, Jose replied: “That’s stats, that’s statistics,” and when asked by a Spanish journalist if this season has been a failure, he said: “Are you really interested, in the Spanish press, in the intricacies of our league season?”
Mourinho finished by insisting losing is part of the natural process, and when asked what needs to change, he said: “Everything, everything together. Everybody spends money right, it’s not just us, right? It’s a natural process.
“I don’t have regrets. I did my best, the players did their best, we tried, we lost, and that’s football.”