Monday 21 January 2019

Jose Mourinho makes Premier League title claim ahead of Man City clash and the statistics support his argument

Jose Mourinho has said Paul Pogba can explain his form
Jose Mourinho has said Paul Pogba can explain his form
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho has suggested that the points total his Manchester United side have collected over the course of this Premier League campaign would have been enough to put them firmly in the title race in any other season in recent years.

City will be crowned as Premier League champions if they beat neighbours United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, with the United boss suggesting the progress he has made at Old Trafford this season has been overshadowed by the dominance of Pep Guardiola's runaway title winners.

"Obviously you see the number of points that we have and it's easy to go to the books and to understand that with the number of points we have, we would normally be in the fight for the title," declared Mourinho.

"We are not, because City has a very good number of points that makes very, very difficult for the second (placed team) to be fighting for the title, which we are not in this moment.”

Mourinho's United head into their 32nd Premier League game of the season with 68 points, which would have left them just four points behind leaders Chelsea at the same stage of last season.

They would have been two points clear at the top of the table with the same number of points in the 2015/16 season, while Mourinho's Chelsea had 70 points at this stage of the campaign in their title winning season of 2014/15.

So while Mourinho's argument is backed up by facts, the reality is his side are a massive 16 points behind City, as he admits they have been chasing the minor prizes for some time.

"My motivation is to finish second, I still have the motivation of finishing top four, mathematically is not done, is a good distance but not done so that’s the first objective but after that I don’t hide," he added.

"That in practical terms and finish next season to finish second third or fourth is exactly the same, you don’t win the title but qualify for the Champions League group stage.

"I prefer to finish third and fourth and second and first, and we have been second for many many months, is out objective to fight for that and for that we need points. My objective for tomorrow is try to have points to finish second."

Mourinho was asked on a couple of occasions in his press conference to comment on City's thumping 3-0 Champions League defeat against Liverpool on Wednesday night, but he opted to steer clear of the subject as he insisted the result was not his concern.

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