Saturday 15 December 2018

Humble Jose Mourinho lavishes praise on Man City and reveals he congratulated their players before West Brom defeat

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho leaves the pitch after the final whistle
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho leaves the pitch after the final whistle

Andy Hampson

Jose Mourinho paid tribute to Manchester City as they were confirmed as Premier League champions following a Manchester United defeat.

Mourinho's second-placed United slipped to a shock 1-0 loss to bottom side West Brom on Sunday, a result that put runaway leaders City out of reach.

The United manager 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 in 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.

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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 produced a subdued performance against the Baggies and were beaten by a 73rd-minute header from Jay Rodriguez.

Mourinho said: "We were masters in complicated football, everything was complicated.

"We couldn't play fast, we couldn't think fast, everything was complicated.

"They always had time to organise themselves.

"Probably in our best period, where we were moving the ball better and the team was thinking faster, they scored the goal in the only way they could score a goal, which was in a corner or in a lateral free-kick. After that they closed every door."

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 today 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.

"In the end, when the ball did break for us, we used it well at times and created chances in open play and then got the goal. It stops the rot."

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