Mourinho Relishes Man Utd Europa Victory

first_img“The poets are the ones that win every match,” said the Portuguese, who had previously led United to success in the Community Shield and League Cup.“I think I am going to have one of these jobs in a few years. I always lose matches, but some guys win every time and I don’t.“But in a bad season, in a season where sometimes I felt my team is the worst in the world and I am the worst manager in the world, we won three trophies and go to the Champions League by winning a trophy.“Not by finishing second or third or fourth, and we have the honour of going to the Super Cup.“So the season was the victory of pragmatism and the people who respect the opponent and try to exploit the opponents’ weakness. Based on pragmatism and humble principles. Not poets.”The United manager celebrated Wednesday’s victory exuberantly at the Friends Arena, at one point being bundled to the turf in an embrace with his jubilant son.A two-time European champion with Porto and Inter Milan, Mourinho once declared he did not want to win the Europa League, saying success in the competition would be a “big disappointment”.He has now won the tournament twice, having led Porto to glory in the UEFA Cup – as the Europa League was previously called – in 2003.“To me it is the most important trophy of my career because it is the last (most recent) – that is how I look at things,” he said.“Of course, Champions League is bigger than Europa League, but that is the last trophy and that is when the feelings are under the skin and obviously it is a fantastic feeling for the team.“It means everything. It means the third trophy and going back to the Champions League and winning a European trophy and playing Super League in Macedonia in August and means for the club the last piece of the puzzle.“Now it is like Ajax and some other clubs with every trophy in the world of football, so it means everything.”Beaten coach Peter Bosz said United “only played long balls and didn’t take any risks”, turning Ajax’s first European final in 21 years into what he called “a boring game”.But having fielded a team with an average age of 22 years and 282 days, the youngest to ever start a major European final, he expressed hope they would be better for the experience.“For all the players, this was the first final,” he said. “You have to learn from it. All the players who played today learnt a lot.“They’re not used to playing a final, these young kids. It’s all new for them. They will learn a lot from it and become stronger.“If we can keep this squad together, we will be stronger next season, for sure.”Pogba and man of the match Ander Herrera both dedicated victory to the victims of Monday’s devastating suicide bomb attack on concert-goers at Manchester Arena, which also left dozens injured.“If we could, we would obviously change the people’s lives for this cup, immediately,” Mourinho said.“We wouldn’t think twice. Does this cup make the city of Manchester a little bit happier? Maybe. But we just came to do our job.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side’s season had been a triumph of pragmatism over poetry following their Europa League success against Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday night.In a poignant match scarred by Monday’s terror attack in Manchester, which left 22 people dead, United prevailed 2-0 via goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to win the tournament for the first time.Mourinho has received criticism over the quality of United’s football and sixth-place finish in the Premier League, but he finishes his maiden season with three trophies and a place in next season’s Champions League.last_img read more

Gervinho matches Ronaldo double as Parma frustrate Juve

first_imgMassimiliano Allegri’s side had already had their confidence shaken after a 3-0 defeat to Atalanta shattered their hopes of winning a fifth straight Coppa Italia.Saturday’s draw was not the response Allegri had called for ahead of their Champions League last 16 first leg tie against Atletico Madrid on February 20.“I’m happy for the goals but not the result,” said Ronaldo.“Parma didn’t do anything special, they waited for us to make a mistake.“But we’re not worried, we know it will be a great season for Juventus.”Juve, hit by injuries to defenders Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli, have now conceded six goals in their last two matches.But they still have a comfortable nine-point lead over Napoli with Inter Milan 20 points behind in third.“It doesn’t change anything, but we must not take anything for granted,” said Allegri.“We were too light in defence. It was the first time this back four had played together.”Juventus lined up with an inexperienced back line of Leonardo Spinazzola alongside Uruguay defender Martin Caceres who got his first start since moving from Lazio.Sami Khedira rattled the post twice, before Ronaldo opened the scoring after 36 minutes with Daniele Rugani again scoring for the hosts on 62 minutes.Ivorian forward Gervinho (C) snatched a late equaliser in Turin. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLOAn Antonino Barilla header clawed one back for Parma two minutes later before Ronaldo completed his brace to return to the top of the Serie A goalscorers’ chart with 17.But Ivorian Gervinho threw his side a lifeline on 74 minutes and grabbed a point at the death for Parma who remain 12th in the table, 31 points behind Juventus.“At least we satisfied those who complained we weren’t entertaining,” said Allegri.“But the beautiful football doesn’t pay off, at the end of the day you have got to just kick it away from your goal.”The seven-time reigning champions nevertheless remain unbeaten this season having dropped points just twice before against Genoa and Atalanta.– Napoli power back –Earlier Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Insigne scored quick-fire goals and Simone Verdi added a third from the spot as Napoli got back on track.AC Milan had dented Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s title hopes with a goalless draw in the San Siro last weekend before dumping the southerners out of the Coppa Italia midweek.“Happy to end that drought:” Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne scored his first league goal in three months. © AFP / Carlo Hermann“Napoli are back strong,” said Ancelotti.“Today we found the depth and the ability to quickly overturn the game.“The two tests against Milan were not our usual selves, we’re back to our normal standard.”Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella was thwarted in his bid to set a new record of scoring in 12 consecutive Serie A games as the side from Genoa also missed the chance to move up into fourth and the Champions League places.But Quagliarella — who is from Naples and had scored in Sampdoria’s 3-0 win over Napoli earlier in the campaign — was denied his best chance to make history by a sliding Kalidou Koulibaly tackle.End of an era: Napoli skipper Marek Hamsik “wants another experience” in China. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLONapoli skipper Marek Hamsik — reportedly set for a move to China — returned from injury and orchestrated the opener after 25 minutes in the San Paolo Stadium.The Slovak international’s cross found Jose Callejon who burst through to provide the assist which Milik finished off for his 12th league goal this season.Less than a minute later Insigne connected sweetly with another Callejon assist for his first league goal in three months.Napoli were awarded a penalty for a Joachim Andersen handball but despite the calls of “Kalidou, Kalidou” from the crowd for the Senegalese defender to take it after his towering performance, it was Verdi who stepped up to convert in the final minute.Sampdoria remain sixth, two points off AC Milan in the final Champions League berth.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo went back top of the Serie A scorers with 17 goals. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLOMILAN, Italy, Feb 3 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice but champions Juventus had to settle for a point as a late Gervinho double snatched a 3-3 draw after promoted Parma staged an impressive comeback in Serie A on Saturday.Juventus’ dropped points allowed Napoli to cut the gap on the leaders to nine points after a confident 3-0 win over Sampdoria.last_img read more