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Thursday 21 June 2018

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Mourinho admits City ‘the best team’ after loss hands rivals title

.With five games remaining, Pep Guardiola’s City now have an unassailable 16-point lead at the top of the table.

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United slumped to defeat against bottom side West Brom
Jose Mourinho's Manchester United slumped to defeat against bottom side West Brom

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Jose Mourinho stressed Manchester City were worthy champions after Manchester United’s shock loss to West Brom.

Jay Rodriguez headed the only goal of a dull encounter at Old Trafford on Sunday, handing the bottom-placed Baggies a 1-0 victory that confirmed Premier League leaders City as champions.

With five games remaining, Pep Guardiola’s City now have an unassailable 16-point lead at the top of the table.

United manager Mourinho said: “I knew that sooner or later that (they) would be (champions) and if I was in their position I would be very upset if somebody said that they won the title because Manchester United lost against West Bromwich Albion.

“They won the title because they were the best team, because they won a great amount of points. They lost only two matches because they were the best team. That’s the reason why they were champions.”

United delayed City’s title celebrations by winning last week’s derby at the Etihad Stadium but Mourinho admitted that victory had a hollow feel.

He said: “Probably because I (have) won eight championships I was not (over) the moon with the victory against them, because that doesn’t make me feel super happy.”

Mourinho suggested he had already congratulated his rivals in advance.

He said: “I don’t know if I was the first or if I was the second or the third, but I congratulated them face-to-face when I had the chance to do it.”

United were way off the pace that saw them overturn a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 with a superb second-half display at the Etihad Stadium a week ago.

Ander Herrera had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the first half and Romelu Lukaku forced a good point-blank save from Ben Foster but West Brom were otherwise largely untroubled.

“We were masters in complicated football, everything was complicated,” said Mourinho. “We couldn’t play fast, we couldn’t think fast, everything was complicated. They always had time to organise themselves.”

West Brom remain nine points adrift of safety with just four games remaining and seem unlikely to stave off relegation, but caretaker boss Darren Moore was pleased with their efforts.

Moore said: “It was a good performance and we got our just rewards in the end. We have come up against a very, very good side in Manchester United but everyone stuck to their job and did everything we asked of them.”

Press Association

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