Jose Mourinho has insisted that Manchester United did not play poorly against Sevilla following his side’s exit from the Champions League.
The home side needed a win to go through but, in stark contrast to their first half performance against Liverpool, ambled their way through the first half.
Man United showed slightly more ambition in the second half, only to be caught on the break by two quick Yassim Ben Yedder goals.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho claimed that his side performed with aggression and intensity. No, really.
Mourinho press conf: "I don’t think the performance was bad. The intention and the way we started was really good and really positive."
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) March 13, 2018
“I think the first goal would always be important in this match, not just because of the first leg result but also because of the style of the match,” he said.
“We try since the first minute to be aggressive and be intense and I could find some similarities between the beginning of this game and the beginning of the Liverpool game.
“But then we didn’t score and Sevilla kept the ball and were confident having the ball and hiding the ball and controlling the game well.
“In the second half we had good chances to score, good and dangerous approaches to their box. They score one goal and from that moment everything becomes much more emotional and the second goal makes it almost impossible.”
Mourinho is not a man to shed light on his own shortcomings. That much is obvious. But one damaging trait he has noted before is his inability to see things from another person’s perspective.
And while we are all guilty of this from time time, in the case of Mourinho you sense that obliviousness to the wider context of the situation at hand – to what exists outside his own mind – has dour implications on his side’s performance and, more worryingly, means he does not learn from his mistakes. Not properly, anyway. That is why he has been sacked in the same way on several occasions.
United did not show ambition. They mustered four shots on target over 180 minutes against a side with a negative goal difference in La Liga. And perhaps the worst thing about that stat is that Mourinho will never learn from it.