EPL

Mourinho 'not jealous' of Man City, Liverpool squads

By Sports Desk January 13, 2020

Jose Mourinho insisted he was "not jealous" of the squads assembled by Liverpool and Manchester City, saying Tottenham was a different job.

City are coming off back-to-back Premier League titles, while Liverpool are 14 points clear with a game in hand this season.

Mourinho was appointed Spurs head coach in November, and his side are battling in eighth in the table.

But the Portuguese tactician said they could not be compared to City and Liverpool, although he has no complaints.

"Come on, it is what it is. We cannot have a squad like some other teams. It's not us," Mourinho said.

"I was watching Man City [against Aston Villa] and I looked to the bench – [Raheem] Sterling, Bernardo Silva, [Ilkay] Gundogan, [Nicolas] Otamendi. You know?

"Liverpool, you see the team, you see the bench. And they have injured [Joel] Matip, [Dejan] Lovren, [Naby] Keita, Fabinho.

"I'm not jealous, I have an amazing job, but they are different jobs. This is a different club."

Mourinho suggested the job at Spurs was his most difficult since he was at Porto, where he took over in early 2002.

The former Real Madrid, Inter and Chelsea boss – who would lead Porto to Champions League glory in 2004 – said he had to reset at the Portuguese giants.

"It is the second time I get a team mid-season, just the second time," Mourinho said.

"The first time was also not easy because it was the end of a team, the end of an era. It was an era without titles.

"Porto was not winning but it was the end of... I don't want to say of a generation but it was the end of a team in the end of a season.

"Twelve players out, twelve players in, start everything from the beginning. Forget the good things of the past, forget the bad things of the past and let's build from new.

"That is my experience in Porto coming in the middle of the season."

Tottenham face Middlesbrough in an FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday.

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    Mohamed Salah joked that Liverpool beat Manchester United 2-0 on Sunday because he was back from injury.

    Egypt international Salah missed the 1-1 draw between the teams at Old Trafford – the only Premier League game Liverpool have failed to win this season – due to an ankle injury.

    In the build-up to the return match at Anfield, the 27-year-old cheekily suggested Jurgen Klopp's side had failed to come out on top because of his absence.

    Liverpool moved 16 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City, while still possessing a game in hand, after Salah latched onto a long ball from Alisson following a corner in second-half stoppage time, adding to Virgil van Dijk's opener in the 14th minute.

    "As you can see today I get back from the injury so we won the game, so I'm very happy for the team now," Salah joked to Sky Sports. "We enjoy the moment and hopefully we finish like that.

    "I got a pass from Alisson, no one else could get me the ball, but I'm very happy for the result, that's the most important thing."

    Liverpool missed out on the Premier League title by a single point to City in 2018-19, with a defeat to Pep Guardiola's side in January 2019 shortly followed by a run of four draws in six league games.

    Having missed out by such a narrow margin last term, Salah urged his team-mates not to take their foot off the gas. 

    "I think we just need to focus on each game, we don't have to think now we've won the Premier League," Salah added.

    "We have to keep it game by game, that's the only way we can win the Premier League. We struggled last season at the same time, so we have to keep calm and focus on each game."

    Jordan Henderson, who saw a second-half shot tipped onto the post by David de Gea, felt Liverpool were good value for their 2-0 victory but also implored his team-mates not to get ahead of themselves.

    "When it's 1-0 it's dangerous, we know that from the Spurs game. I feel as though we should've killed the game off earlier with the chances we had, but we kept going, defended well and managed to get the second in the end, which we deserved I think," said Henderson.

    "We're not really thinking about the end again. Why should we change now? Why think about the end of the season? There's still a lot of games left.

    "We've taken it by each game for a long time now and it's put us in good stead, so there's no need to change. For us as players it's the next game, the next challenge. United played well at times today but I felt as though we deserved the three points.

    "At Liverpool there's always expectation to win and be successful and that hopefully won't change for a very long time."

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    Liverpool moved 16 points clear at the Premier League summit after Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah secured a deserved 2-0 victory over rivals Manchester United at Anfield.

    Second-place Manchester City drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace on Saturday and Liverpool, who still possess a game in hand, took full advantage to tighten their grip at the top and boost their chances of a first league title since 1990.

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    After Fred and Brandon Williams let Van Dijk get loose in the area Harry Maguire was United's last hope, but the Netherlands international leapt above the man who took his tag as the world's most expensive defender to nod in the opener.

    Liverpool had what they thought was a second ruled out by VAR in the 25th minute.

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    Andreas Pereira failed to convert a rare United chance against the run of play from inside the six-yard box, before De Gea managed to keep out Sadio Mane on the stroke of half-time.

    Liverpool came flying out of the blocks in the second half, with Salah scuffing a glorious opportunity wide and De Gea brilliantly tipping a venomous drive from Jordan Henderson onto the post.

    Anthony Martial showed a lack of composure when he hacked high and wide after a brilliant one-two with Pereira before the hour mark, while Mane passed up an opening after a swift break from the hosts.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer switched to a back four for the final 15 minutes but, as United pushed for an equaliser, Salah punished the visitors by surging clear from a corner and holding off Daniel James to seal the win with a cool finish.
     

    What does it mean? United need attacking reinforcements

    Solskjaer said pre-game Marcus Rashford was facing "weeks" out with a back injury, though reports subsequently emerged claiming he could be facing up to three months out.

    With James and Martial doing little up top, United would be wise to look to the transfer market to bolster their options. Failing to secure the signature of Erling Haaland, who scored a hat-trick after coming off the bench on his Borussia Dortmund debut on Saturday, now looks like even more of a blow.

    Van Dijk a colossus

    Not only did he score the first goal, Van Dijk was immovable at the heart of Liverpool's defence and comfortably dealt with United's limp attack. His exemplary distribution from the back helped keep Solskjaer's men on the back foot for much of the game.

    The Pereira conundrum

    Having made a marginal impact as a winger at Valencia, Pereira fared little better when deployed in a deep-lying midfield role last season. He played as a number 10 at Anfield and missed United's best chance while creating just one chance for Martial.

    What's next?

    Liverpool travel to Molineux to face Wolves on Thursday, with United at home to Burnley a day prior.

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