Jose Mourinho has noted that Manchester United don’t want to play Premier League in the lead-up to the Europa League final following defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Portuguese, who noted following the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal last week that Man United had given up on domestic affairs, once again made eight changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Celta Vigo on. Thursday
And Spurs, playing their last ever game at White Hart Lane, looked the far more energised, determined side as goals from Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane sealed a deserved 2-1 win.
Mourinho, speaking after the game, made it clear that the Premier League was nothing more than an unfortunate obstacle ahead of the Europa League final against Ajax.
“We didn’t gamble with the Europa League. Not many people can play two competitions with 15 players and that is what we had at the time. What we did was compulsory. I am happy with the situation today,” he said.
“The ones who needed to play did 90 mins, I rested some and no injuries and one less match to play.
“In this moment the Premier League is matches we don’t want to play.”
This day would always belong to Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino’s men were playing their last ever game at White Hart Lane but, in many ways, it was much more than that.
They have enjoyed another fantastic campaign and this was a chance to provide an important nod to the future, perhaps to a new era where the Tottenham of old finally gives way to a newer, title-challenging outfit that doesn’t finish below Arsenal every year. Symbolism was everywhere; there was no time for any old, White Hart Lane-esque habits to creep in, and they took to the pitch with a steely, imperturbable determination to establish a marker ahead of a defining couple of seasons.
United, on the other hand, were like unwanted guests at a party they didn’t really want to attend. The perfect opponent for a Spurs side hellbent on going out on a high, you might say. All emphasis is on the Europa League final, and such a mindset, when pitted against a hungry, in-form Spurs side, was manifest from start to finish at White Hart Lane.