Cape Town - Manchester
United manager Jose Mourinho has said that beating Sevilla in Tuesday’s
Champions League last-16 second leg will be more important than their
2-1 league victory over rivals Liverpool.
United go into the clash with the Spanish side following a morale
boosting win over the Reds that put them in pole position to secure
second position in the English Premier League behind Manchester City.
Mourinho emphasised the need for his team to retain their dominance internationally after winning the Europa League last season.
The first leg tie between the two teams finished in a goalless
stalemate in Spain, and United will be confident that home advantage on
Tuesday night will work in their favour.
"Tomorrow is more important than the win over Liverpool because
Saturday was a match for points that we still have 24 more points to
discuss, 24 more points to try to finish in the top four, to try to
finish third, to try to finish second if possible," Mourinho told
reporters on Monday.
"But tomorrow and Saturday against Brighton are the matches where, in
the end, you go to the next draw or you don’t go to the next draw. So,
of course, knockout becomes more important than league matches."
The Portuguese manager also downplayed his side's chances to contest
the European title, telling the media that United is not among the best
teams in the competition.
He added: "I don't think we are one of the best teams in the
competition. But I think when a team arrives in the last eight, anything
"I think when you are in the last 16; it looks really, really far.
But when a team gets in the last eight, you start smelling semi-finals
and I think when a team gets into the last eight, the feeling is, of
course, you are among the best.
"But anything can happen, so let's see what happens tomorrow. I think tomorrow is a very difficult match."