Jose Mourinho had no regrets after Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League, saying the shock defeat to Sevilla was “not the end of the world”.
David De Gea had to be at his best in Spain to keep the first leg of this last-16 tie goalless, but another disappointing performance would be punished on a night to forget for the hosts at Old Trafford.
Sevilla again took the game to an undercooked United side and deservedly went through with a 2-1 victory as substitute Wissam Ben Yedder’s quickfire brace meant a late Romelu Lukaku goal was mere consolation.
The Red Devils were booed off the field by those still inside Old Trafford, but Mourinho remained philosophical on a bad night.
“I told you yesterday that it would be disappointment if we would lose the match,” the United boss said.
“I don’t want to make a drama of it, we don’t have time. We have a match on Saturday, we have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours and that’s football.
“That’s not the end of the world.
“I sit in this chair twice in the Champions League and I knock out Man United at home at Old Trafford.
“I sit in this chair with Porto, Man United out. I sit in the chair with Real Madrid, Man United out.
“So, I don’t think it is something new for the club and of course being Manchester United manager and losing a Champions League tie at home is a disappointment.”
Mourinho defended his side’s display and added: “I don’t think the performance was bad.”
He was chippy when quizzed by Spanish-speaking reporters, with one asking if it was an acceptable performance by United given the difference in finance.
“Are you really interested, being Spanish press, in the intricacies of our own season?” he told another when asked if being eliminated from the Champions League and Carabao Cup as well as falling short in the Premier League title race represented failure for United.
The FA Cup is now the only silverware still up for grabs ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final against Brighton, but Mourinho did not regret his approach over the two legs against Sevilla.
“I don’t have regrets,” the United boss. “I did my best, the players did their best. We tried, we lost and that’s football.”
Asked what has to change now to get United into the top-eight teams in Europe, Mourinho retorted: “Everything. Everything together.
“Everybody spends money, right? It is not just us, no? It’s not just changing for changing sake, it’s a natural process.
“And we’re not the only team that invests money. All clubs invest money in players.”
Sevilla’s investment is paltry by comparison, though, and the 2-1 win will go down in the club’s history.
“I am very happy to win here in this special, historic place,” head coach Vincenzo Montella said after reaching the quarter-finals.
“I am happy that the fans were here and that for the first time in 60 years we are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the players are happy in the dressing room they have Sevilla the club very firmly in their heart.”
Former Manchester United stars Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand delivered a damning verdict after seeing Jose Mourinho’s men dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla.
A 2-1 home defeat by the Spanish side ended the Old Trafford club’s interest in the competition in the last 16 and left them realistically with only the FA Cup to compete for during what remains of the season.
Scholes accused United of lacking desire and Mourinho of not even trying to win the first leg to set up the second.
He told BT Sport: “It was very difficult watching that, it was difficult watching the first game. There was no desire, no energy, no speed about the team. I can’t explain it, it’s inexplicable.
“You go back to the first game – in the modern game now, teams go to places and they try to score goals. United went there and didn’t even try to win the game, they didn’t try to score a goal.”
Former team-mate Ferdinand admitted the Red Devils are off the pace in Europe.
Asked if they were far from able to be considered a top team, he replied: “In Europe, yes, 100 per cent.
“I’ll tell you what, next round, there’ll be teams licking their lips, English and other teams around Europe, licking their lips at the thought of playing against this Seville team because they are not a team that would frighten you.
“They’re a decent team, they are not a team that frighten you.
“In these games, you have got to go and take the game by the scruff of the neck.
“That takes personality, it takes characters to go and do that in this stadium. You have got to go and give the fans something to chant about. This stadium tonight was quiet and that’s down to the players.”
There was reaction to on Twitter with former England international Stan Collymore critical of Mourinho’s approach.
He tweeted: “Seville are a decent, but not a great side. Mourinho going to rightly get pelters for tonight. Hugely inconsistent, marked starkly against the consistency of City. Miles off a title or CL challenging team.”
He added: “Strange thing is Mourinho seems to react only when other teams take the initiative. Contrary to everything Manchester United have ever been about. Even the poorest United teams attacked, because that’s the demand and club DNA.”
Ex-Tottenham defender Graham Roberts was equally critical of the Portuguese.
He tweeted: “Why didn’t Mourinho make changes? It was only Seville. He just stood there didn’t know how to change and what to do.”
Former England striker and TV presenter Gary Lineker gave credit to Sevilla for their victory.
He posted: “You can’t say Sevilla don’t deserve their victory. They’ve won tactically and been better all over. United’s game-plan was baffling: deep lying, ponderous and negative.”
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti needs to learn from mistakes such as his Champions League red card to live up to his potential as a big player, his club coach Unai Emery said on Tuesday.
Italian international Verratti allowed his emotions to get the better of him as last week’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid was slipping away from the French side, and was sent off for dissent.
“This is not the first time. He needs to improve his temperament,” said Emery.
“He needs to control his feelings, especially in the big matches. He’s a player with a lot of personality and we have spoken to him about it,” added Emery, whose side were reduced to 10 men whilst trying to overturn a deficit against Real Madrid.
“But he’s getting better and he’s a very important player for us both now and for the future.”
“He will continue to develop,” Emery said of the 25-year-old who has played 154 games for PSG and 24 times for Italy.
Verratti took a huge amount of media flack after PSG’s 5-2 aggregate defeat by Real with Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport writing “he is incapable of keeping a cool head”, an issue it said would also compromise his international career.