Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Time to give Jose Mourinho credit for making Man United successful again

Time to give Jose Mourinho credit for making Man United successful again Time to give Jose Mourinho credit for making Man United successful again
Cary Erickson | 13 March, 2018, 06:56

Manchester United pair Nemanja Matic and Jose Mourinho sought to play down the 2-1 win over Liverpool last Saturday and highlight the importance of tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) clash with Sevilla.

As things stand after a boring affair in the first leg, it's 0-0, with no away goal for United in Spain, and Sevilla failing to capitalise on their home advantage.

Manchester United are now in pole position to finish behind Manchester City in second in the Premier League, with Liverpool having slipped down to fourth in the league table.

In January, United boss Jose Mourinho said he expected Carrick to retire at the end of 2017-18 and join the Old Trafford coaching staff - a move the player himself acknowledges as his likely next step.

Manchester United left their mark in Sevilla after the opening leg of the Uefa Champions League game last month - and it was not positive, after a defensive performance which created few chances and attracted much criticism in Spain as well as in England.

A 0-0 draw at home would have been a decent result but Sevilla have historically been vastly superior at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in recent seasons.

Mourinho-managed teams, too, are hard to beat when they are ahead - a fact highlighted by a prolific Liverpool side's struggles to break down United after the Portuguese set his side up defensively in the second period following Marcus Rashford's two-goal salvo in the first 24 minutes.

And, as Mourinho said before the away leg, the quarter-finals are where teams start to dream. "I am not sure if he will be available".

Sevilla have also been beaten in the league 11 times already this campaign, six more than their tally at the same stage of last season.

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Tomkins added: "You can look at it and say we were unlucky, but it's another defeat".

"Not yet, but when a team reaches the last eight anything is possible", he said.

And having lost 2-0 at home against Valencia on the weekend, I'm not very confident they can progress against United, who are clear favourites.

With Pogba missing, Mourinho could well go for the same starting line-up as we saw against Liverpool.

"If we go through to the quarterfinal draw - doesn't matter the opponent - it will always be one of the big names in European football, but we will try".

"It is special for me and for the club because it has been 60 years that the team has not been able to play in that round".

"But the biggest problem at the moment to resolve has only one name and that name is Sevilla".

Darke, who called games for the network during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, is ESPN lead soccer voice in the United States.