UEFA Champions League: In Q-Finals, Anything Is Possible – Mourinho

  • Man United host Sevilla today

Ahead of Tuesday’s night round of 16 UEFA Champions League second leg show-down against Sevilla FC of Spain at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho says anything is possible if Manchester United qualify for the quarter finals round.

The Portuguese gaffer said though United are not among the strongest teams in this year’s competition, he is not ruling out the possibility of European glory for the Red Devils.

United will put themselves in contention for Champions League glory if they overcome the Spaniards today, but Mourinho insist they are not one of the best teams in the tournament.

With their last-16 first leg match ending goalless at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Old Trafford will come alive as United’s faithful eye a quarter-final ticket for their darling team.

And Marcus Rashford’s brace that sank Liverpool in the Premier League at the weekend may have boosted confidence among United supporters to easily dispatch Sevilla and sets new target for themselves in Europe this season.

But Jose Mourinho remains a realist as he told a pre-match news conference; “I think we are not one of the best teams in the competition. But I think that when a team arrives in the last eight anything can happen.”

“When you are in the last 16 it looks really, really far [away] but when the team gets in the last eight you start smelling semi-finals.

“I think when a team gets into the last eight the feeling is you are [competing] among the best but anything can happen”, the United Manager posited

After leading FC Porto of Portugal to an unlikely triumph in the 2003-04 Champions League, Mourinho repeated the feat with Inter Milan of Italy six years later.

Asked about the possibility of a hat-trick of titles with his current United squad, the Portuguese replied: “Not yet”, but added; “When a team reaches the last eight anything is possible. Now, I have only one name in my mind. It is Sevilla. I know it is very difficult to go through.

“If we go to the quarter-final the opponent will always be one of the big names in European football. But we will try.”

Mourinho insisted the game against Sevilla is ‘more important’ than the one just gone against Liverpool, citing Sevilla’s group-stage draws against Jurgen Klopp’s men as a sign of their top quality.

“This is a very difficult match. We are playing against a team who didn’t lose against Liverpool home and away, scored goals at Liverpool and drew the match in Liverpool,” he added.

“I say Liverpool because they are an example of a very good team. It’s a team with a big tradition. I say Liverpool to show that Sevilla is a really good team and the result of the first leg is one that leaves everything open. I do not feel like we have any advantage at this moment.”

Paul Pogba sat out the Liverpool win and only re-joined training for the second half of his team-mates’ session on Monday, although Anthony Martial is fit to return.

Defenders Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind are expected to remain on the sidelines with midfielder Ander Herrera.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic took part in training before the Sevilla game, although it remains to be seen whether the veteran Swedish striker is in any condition for his first competitive action since Boxing Day.

– With BBC report

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