Saturday 24 February 2018

Mourinho's Cska mind games

Jose Mourinho was in typically forthright mood yesterday when he questioned CSKA Moscow's right still to be in the Champions League ahead of the first leg of their quarter-final against his Inter Milan side.

CSKA defenders Aleksei Berezutski and Sergei Ignashevich were provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance following their group match at Manchester United last November.

They were later found to have taken a cold medicine that had not been reported by the club's doctors and were retroactively given one-game bans (which they had already served). They were let off harsher punishment as UEFA accepted that club doctors had made a technical mistake.

"There's something grey about CSKA's progress in the Champions League," Mourinho said. "If two players go to an anti-doping control and a substance is found that's not allowed in the Champions League, there's something grey," he said.

Mourinho, speaking to the press for the first time since boycotting the Italian media for the last six league games, added fuel to the fire of speculation that this will be his last season in Italy by admitting he retains an affinity for English football.

"I miss English football and English football misses me, there's no doubt about that, but right now I'm thinking only about Inter," he added.

Inter have won just two league games in eight but remain strong favourites to beat the Russians -- who are playing in the last eight of Europe's premier competition for the first time in 17 years -- even without the suspended duo of Lucio and Thiago Motta.

Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow,

Live, Sky Spts 2, Setanta Irl, 7.45

Irish Independent

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