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.”