Sunday 22 October 2017

Manchester United have nothing to prove against Liverpool, insists Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Samuel Lovett

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United have nothing to prove when they take on rivals Liverpool at Anfield this weekend but insisted his side are better equipped for the clash than they were this time last year.

The showdown at Anfield has been described as Mourinho’s first big test of the season, with the side yet to face a top-six rival so far this campaign. Only two of their six wins have come against a side that finished inside the top 10 last season.

But Mourinho has downplayed the clash, arguing his men have nothing to prove against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

"We have to prove nothing," he told Sky Sports. "We have our objectives for the season, we know where we want to go and how we have to go.

"This is press talk, or pundit talk: 'We have something to prove, [Romelu] Lukaku has to score, we have to win' [is what they say]. One match, one result, one performance. That's not going to change anything.

"You can say, like some people do, we have not played one of the top five teams but last season we did not beat West Ham at home, last season we did not beat Everton at home or Southampton away."

Last year United were held in a goalless draw at Anfield following the conclusion of the October international break. United managed just one shot on goal as Mourinho set up his side to frustrate their Liverpool hosts.

But having hit the ground running this season, notching up four 4-0 wins against their Premier League opponents already, United look set to take the game to Liverpool this time round.

"I think we are a better team [than we were]," he said. "I think it would be unfair to say Lukaku and [Nemanja] Matic did not make an impact, we have to admit that and give them what they deserve. But also the team give Matic and Lukaku the conditions to arrive the way they have.

"Globally we are a better team -- does that mean we are going to be as successful as last season, winning two titles? I don't know. But we are better."

He added: "I like to play against the best teams, I like to play against the best clubs and I like to play at the best stadiums -- the stadiums with more history. At Anfield I've had great moments and I've had bad moments. They have had happiness against me, they have had very sad moments against me.

"It's for three points, not four. Maybe if we were in a moment of the season where it was a duel between two teams it would mean more, but it's not the case. At the same time, in these kinds of matches, every single moment plays a part. We are playing against a good team with very good players."

Independent News Service

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