LONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 13 – 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 can happen.
“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.”