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Mourinho defends Inter after Euro exit at Man Utd

Mourinho defends Inter after Euro exit at Man Utd

Jose Mourinho launched a strident defense of his Inter Milan side after being eliminated from the Champions League by holder Manchester United on Wednesday.
The Portuguese coach, who had previously lost just once in 13 matches against United with FC Porto and Chelsea, responded to hostile questions by Italian journalists by insisting he was not accountable to them.
"No one should be negative about my team's display," Mourinho said after the 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford. "If anyone wants to criticize my team they will have to fight with me. We played a great game."
Even United manager Alex Ferguson acknowledged that his Red Devils rode their luck at times against the Italian champions, losing the ball cheaply, showboating and failing to kill off the match after Nemanja Vidic's fourth-minute headed goal. Cristiano Ronaldo nodded in another at the same point in the second half for the world champions.
Inter strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano hit the goalframe in the visitors' closest chances of the second leg after a scoreless match two weeks ago in San Siro.
Mourinho said an Inter side that hasn't reached the quarterfinals since 2006 can't expect to suddenly win a third European Cup.
"My players did absolutely everything they possibly could do," Mourinho said. "They should not be criticized or questioned. We played a very good game, we really played to our full potential.
"You can't just turn up and expect to win the Champions League just like that. One way is to put together a team with a huge amount of money that is not around any longer and buy superstars, the second way is to build a team that matures over the course of time."
Mourinho, who won the Champions League with FC Porto against Monaco in 2004, highlighted how his Chelsea side lost two semifinals until it reached a final last year after his departure.
"It's a process, not a miracle, and getting to the top is a consequence of hard work," Mourinho said. "I will ask my president if he can make himself available to have a meeting to explain why we got knocked out.
"Ultimately I'm accountable to him and I should be giving explanations and planning the next stage at Inter Milan."
Mourinho expects to end his debut season with a Serie A title, with Inter enjoying a seven-point lead over Juventus.
"We are good enough to win the Scudetto and I am sure we will go on and win it," he said.


Updated : 2021-04-18 15:00 GMT+08:00