Mour­inho de­fends Juve taunts af­ter win

The Witness - - SPORT -

TURIN — Manch­ester United boss José Mour­inho de­fended his taunt­ing of Ju­ven­tus sup­port­ers af­ter his side’s sen­sa­tional late re­vival which saw them grab a 2-1 win over the Ital­ians and boost their chances of reach­ing the knock­out stages of the Cham­pi­ons League.

For­mer United player Cris­tiano Ron­aldo had given Ju­ven­tus a de­served lead in the sec­ond half on Wed­nes­day night, but de­spite be­ing out­played for al­most the en­tirety of the game, United struck back with a free­kick from Juan Mata in the 86th minute and a scrappy own goal in stop­page time which Uefa cred­ited to Leonardo Bonucci.

“If you un­der­stand Ital­ian you will know that I was in­sulted by them for 90 min­utes. I didn’t of­fend any­one, I just made a ges­ture to tell them that I wanted to hear them louder,” Mour­inho told re­porters af­ter cup­ping his ear to the home fans at the fi­nal whis­tle, prompt­ing a cas­cade of howl­ing whis­tles.

“I prob­a­bly shouldn’t have done it, and with a cool head I wouldn’t have. But with my fam­ily in­sulted, in­clud­ing my In­ter Mi­lan fam­ily, I re­acted like this.”

Mour­inho’s re­ac­tion came on the day that the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (FA) said it would ap­peal against a de­ci­sion which saw him es­cape pun­ish­ment for an al­leged foul-mouthed out­burst in Por­tuguese in front of tele­vi­sion cam­eras fol­low­ing his side’s 3-2 win over New­cas­tle United last month.

An in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tory com­mis­sion had cleared Mour­inho of the charge on Oc­to­ber 31 af­ter con­sult­ing lan­guage ex­perts.

When quizzed in a post-match in­ter­view with BT Sport about what had prompted his ges­ture to the Ju­ven­tus fans and an­i­mated con­fronta­tion with some of their play­ers af­ter the game, Mour­inho ap­peared to send a thinly veiled mes­sage to English foot­ball’s or­gan­is­ing body.

“Do you un­der­stand Ital­ian? Then maybe ask the FA to trans­late for you,” he said.

De­spite Ju­ven­tus hit­ting the wood­work twice and David de Gea mak­ing a string of great saves, Mour­inho said he was pleased with his side’s per­for­mance af­ter the team had been out­played and beaten 1-0 by Juve two weeks pre­vi­ously at Old Traf­ford.

“It is a fan­tas­tic vic­tory for us, a vic­tory that is not just about the points we lost at home. It is about the feel­ing of how well we played,” he said.

“And I think even if this game doesn’t end with vic­tory I would have the same feel­ing, that the team played re­ally, re­ally well from the first minute against — I re­peat — a su­per team.”

The thrilling fi­nale in Turin is the lat­est in a series of epic turnaround vic­to­ries for United, who beat Bournemouth 2-1 with an added-time goal from Mar­cus Rash­ford on Satur­day and also ral­lied late to beat New­cas­tle in Oc­to­ber.

The come­back vic­tory, the sort of es­cape act for which they be­came renowned un­der Sir Alex Fer­gu­son, sets United up nicely for Sun­day’s lo­cal derby against Pre­mier League lead­ers Manch­ester City. — Reuters.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Manch­ester United man­ager José Mour­inho cel­e­brates af­ter his team’s Cham­pi­ons League Group H win over Ju­ven­tus in Turin, Italy, on Wed­nes­day. They face an­other ma­jor bat­tle against Manch­ester City in the English Pre­mier­ship on Sun­day.

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