Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has claimed City’s preparations for Sunday’s derby were helped by two friendly matches, while his team were on their travels.
The blues hosted Southampton, followed by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, while Mourinho had the awful task of dragging his team to Bournemouth, before heading to Italy to face Juventus in the own Champions League group match.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Mourinho said “it’s a heavy result for the effort of a team that had three away matches in the same week, with a super difficult match of a high, demanding level in Juventus against a team that had two friendly matches at home against Southampton and Shakhtar.” he went on to explain how those games were tiring on his well-paid athletes and they were fatigued before another big match.
It’s very strange how when some teams fail to perform to a high standard, there always seems to be an excuse of fatigue. Earlier this season, City travelled to Liverpool and came away with a 0-0 draw, however commentators attempted to play down the result and claimed Liverpool players would have been tired as they travelled to Italy earlier in the week, which is much further than Germany, where City went to play Hoffenheim.
Okay, so City had two home matches prior to a derby and United had to travel, but guess what? That’s part and parcel of the game. If you’re going to play in European competition, expect to travel and play another match soon after. It really is that simple, and if you’re not happy to do that, don’t take part. It’s not like United haven’t refused to take part in competitions in previous seasons. That’s the game, deal with it!
In addition, Mourinho’s comments are completely disrespectful to Southampton and Shakhtar. The United boss has claimed in the past about a ‘lack of respect’ towards him, but how are people supposed to respect him when he cannot do likewise?