Jose Mourinho has admitted that Manchester City have already won the Premier League title this season.
The 55-year-old refused to rule out Manchester United’s title chances even after they slumped to 11 points behind the leaders in December following defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side at Old Trafford.
But defeat at Wembley to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday means Man United now lie 15 points behind the league leaders with 3 fixtures remaining.
And Mourinho, speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Huddersfield Town, conceded that Man City had effectively won the title.
“Make me feel that they are doing so, so well that they are not letting the others come close to them, as simple as that, with the number of points and improvement in relation to last season, the distance would be a distance that leaves the fight open and the fight is open for second, third fourth fifth and sixth but is practically closed for the first,” he said.
“I cannot say, we Tottenham or Chelsea is doing bad because the points we have are very reasonable but Manchester City started strong and kept doing strong and managed to win matches they didn’t deserve – I give credit – with that last push of the last minute goal, the winning goal in extra time, they managed to do that in a way where that’s the distance.
“If you tell me all six want to be champion and only one will be and the other five fail, I think is too pragmatic a way to look at it because you can do positive work and not winning the title.”
Mourinho notably aims a dig at City for winning games they don’t deserve, but this is of course not a dig at all.
If anything, this is the only explanation he offers for why City have pulled so far ahead of United this year – the main distinctive feature of the two sides when they take to the pitch.
And while triumphant campaigns of course require undeserved, late, dramatic victories, they never tell the whole story. Mourinho won’t publicly admit it, sure, but there are plenty of factors behind United’s inability to keep up with City beyond October.