Jose Mourinho is perhaps as well known for his formidable skill as a football manager as he is his controversial statements. The former Chelsea boss, now with Liverpool’s biggest rival, has never shied away from a chance to twist the knife after figuratively stabbing Liverpool fans.
Mourinho is now back with another such statement, intended only to further rile up animosity between himself and Reds.
“We knew the Benfica pressure could not stay for 90 minutes,” the self-described “special one” said after the 1-0 victory in the Champions League.
“The amazing defensive work Liverpool did against us, Benfica could not do that for the whole game. Without any pressure, we knew the goal would arrive.”
Liverpool’s performance on Saturday could be described as many things, but “defensive” isn’t one of them. Despite the teams ending on level terms, it was not for a lack of attacking intent from the home side. Liverpool enjoyed over 60% of the possession and outshot their rivals 19 to 6, with only one of their six efforts being on frame. The Reds pressed, and pressed, and continued getting forward all game in a futile attempt to break through the double-decker bus parked in front of the goal. Defensive it was not.
If Mourinho was speaking about Liverpool’s press, which was instrumental in dominating the middle of the pitch, he might have had a point. He addressed this aspect as well.
“I never speak about injuries. Other managers cry and cry and cry - I don’t cry.
“I had Herrera and Matic and had nobody else, I had nobody on the bench to try to make a difference. I couldn’t bring Herrera into the position where he could be more aggressive in the high pressing.
“At times it felt like my team was waiting for me to do something but I couldn’t do anything without any midfield player on the bench.”
Yes, life is hard when managing the most expensive squad in the history of world football. How could he win a midfield battle with such dross as Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic?
I take it back, this isn’t trolling. This is a cry for help. You say it isn’t, but it is. We hear you, Jose. We hear you.