Manchester United are out of the Champions League, and it’s Jose Mourinho’s fault.
Two goals from Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder secured the Spanish side a place in the quarter-finals, after United’s extremely cautious tactics backfired. Jose Mourinho treated a modest Sevilla team like they were Barcelona from 2011 and surrendered the initiative, waiting for his opponents to make a mistake that didn’t come until Romelu Lukaku scored to make it 2-1, but by then it was too late. This is the United manager’s main tactic, waiting for the game to “break.” Sometimes it works, like against Liverpool on Saturday, but on Tuesday evening it was shown to be reactive, limited and out of date.
Following the match, on BT Sport, host Gary Lineker did his best to bring the conversation on to Mourinho’s reactive tactics. However, the three pundits refused to bite. Steven Gerrard kept saying United lost because they didn’t have “desire”. Paul Scholes said United’s players had a poor “attitude” and Rio Ferdinand said United are a “work in progress.” It’s no wonder some United fans won’t criticise Mourinho, listening to this.
Yes, Alexis Sanchez was poor, again. United’s midfield was a complete non-entity and only Lukaku can hold his head high following the game. But to blame the players for United’s poor display is to ignore Mourinho’s tactics. They were following orders. They were playing in a straight-jacket from the first minute because he told them to and they played for a goalless draw…