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Relieved Mourinho sends message to his ‘lovers’ after below-par United book last-16 spot

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Jose Mourinho slammed water bottles into the ground in an expression of “relief” after Manchester United snatched a last-gasp winner to reach the Champions League last 16 – an opportunity the manager used to remind “lovers” of his enviable continental record.

Young Boys looked set to frustrate, and perhaps even embarrass, the Old Trafford giants on home soil on Tuesday, displaying composure, confidence and camaraderie sorely lacking in their opponents.

But, not for the first time this season, Mourinho’s men dug deep and scored a late winner, with Marouane Fellaini turning home to secure a 1-0 victory and progress to the Champions League round of 16 with a match to spare.

The United manager kicked a water bottle carrier and threw another into the ground in celebration at a goal that means they head to Valencia next month with progress assured after the Spaniards lost at Juventus on Tuesday.

“Relief,” Mourinho said of his celebrations. “Frustration before that and relief with the goal.

“I think we didn’t play for that, we didn’t play for 0-0. We didn’t play to be in trouble until the last minute, so frustration.

“I was not unhappy with the players. Not at all.

“Frustrated with the fact that we couldn’t score, yes, but my players were very tired at the end and that’s what I love – I want them to be very tired.

“It means that they give everything, and they did that, with moments of very good football, moments of quality, moments of hypothetical beautiful goals and then also with moments of pressure, moments of lack of confidence, that frustrate us.

FBL-EUR-C1-MAN UTD-YOUNG BOYS

“But, in the end, we score.

“I have to reunite the goal we scored with David De Gea’s save. I think without David’s save, no winning goal.

“But, in the end, we qualify in a very difficult group with one match in hand, suffering a lot, but we did it.”

It was hardly the inspiring response United had hoped for after Saturday’s tepid 0-0 draw with strugglers Crystal Palace, but Mourinho still used the Group H win as a chance to stick two fingers up at the doubters.

“Let me send a message to my lovers and say that I played Champions League for 14 years and I qualified 14 times,” he said. “And the two years where I didn’t play Champions League, I won the Europa League twice, so in 16 years, 14 times I qualify and twice I play Europa League and I won.

“Just a little curiosity for my lovers and the lovers of the stats.”

However, this little message during his post-match interview didn't go down well with two former players.

Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes were in the BT Studios, and after the game, they spoke about Mourinho's past and also the fact they didn't like how he reacted to the 1-0 win.

A win in the end on the night, but it's very clear that there are underlying problems with Mourinho and Manchester United.

Topics:
Rio Ferdinand
Paul Scholes
Football
Jose Mourinho
Marouane Fellaini
Manchester United

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