Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Jose Mourinho: Man Utd's European exit is nothing new

Jose Mourinho: Man Utd's European exit is nothing new

But beyond the specific complaints over Mourinho's approach against the Spaniards, the context in which the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager operates makes it hard to see how his project will deliver a new era of glory at Old Trafford.

Romelu Lukaku reduced United's arrears, but it was too little, too late with Mourinho's decision to once again drop Paul Pogba certain to be scrutinised.

Nemanja Matic believes Sevilla deserved to go through to the Champions League quarter-finals and admitted there was "no excuse" for Manchester United's shocking display.

We should not therefore be too surprised by the swirling discontent that is now enveloping Old Trafford.

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Both those teams, Porto in 2003/04 and Real Madrid in 2012/13, were coached by Mourinho but while United may have lost, the manner of those defeats was far different from the one on Tuesday night.

Jesse Lingard also returned in place of Juan Mata in Mourinho's only other change from the side that beat Liverpool 2-1 at the weekend.

Former United manager Alex Ferguson looked on in the stands, but there was no miracle in "Fergie time" with United needing two more goals to progress as Sevilla went on to make the last eight for the first time in 60 years. In the first half I do not remember a risky situation for them, so I think it was a good controlled performance by them without any kind of danger. "It's painful, but we have to get right back up, dust ourselves off, and look ahead".

Manchester United did exactly what they had laughed at Liverpool for on Saturday last, dominated possession but simply did nothing with it - in fact, for all the ball they had, it was still the Spaniards who looked more likely to score.

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"First of all football is a team game and you want to share the good times and the bad times with your players". It's now "me" v "them". "I am very happy and I have a dressing room full of happy players", Montella said.

The forward had only come off the bench minutes earlier, and Marca labelled him "Big Ben" after his Tuesday night heroics.

The celebrations on the pitch were as wild as they were in the away end at full-time, while United were jeered off the field as the biggest week of their season was thrown off kilter.

In the final 10 minutes, we saw the United that might have been; but the fact is that Mourinho has never felt comfortable giving free rein to talent and an, at times necessary, element of disorder. "I think we started the game well, but then we let them get a bit of control in the game".

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Much of the post-match reaction has been dominated by analysis of United's limp performance, with the achievement of Sevilla - Europa League champions three years in a row between 2014 and 2016 - somewhat overlooked.

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