Jose Mourinho has spoken with Manchester United TV and BT Sport on his team’s qualification for the Europa League final along with Ajax Amsterdam, who edged out Lyon.
The coach was naturally delighted after his team overcame Celta Vigo in dramatic fashion on Thursday night to reach the final, which will be played on 24 May in Stockholm.
It will be United’s first Europa League final and their first European showpiece match since losing in the 2011 Champions League.
Mourinho admitted it was a difficult match.
“I could guess from the first match because it was similar to Anderlecht. When you are the best team by far in the first leg, you have to kill everything in the first leg. We don’t because we never kill, we never score goals related to the chances we have. And then we got an open game at home with all the pressure on our side with them completely free of pressure and responsibility and they gave us a very hard match.”
Mourinho said his team accorded Celta Vigo a lot of respect.
“They came as heroes, a small city, a small club that did amazingly well, with nothing to lose. So [they] dominated by the mental point of view – they did very well, they gave us a very difficult second half. So we had to suffer until the end and everything was open until the last second. The boys didn’t play a phenomenal match but they fought, they gave everything they had to give and I’m really pleased for them because 14 matches and we are in the final so it’s good.”
On Eric Bailly being sent off, Mourinho said “I didn’t see the incident but he was phenomenal. The game was emotional until the end for everyone”.
Not only Bailly got the red card, Celta’s hero,Facundo Roncaglia, who scored the equaliser at Old Trafford also got the marching order.
Leading 1-0 from the first leg of the semi-final in Spain, United thought they had killed off the tie when Marouane Fellaini headed them in front after 17 minutes.
United sat back and allowed Celta to dominate possession but looked comfortable until Facundo Roncaglia headed the visitors level in the 85th minute, meaning another goal for the Spaniards could have put them through on away goals.
Tempers flared shortly afterwards when United’s Cote D’Ivoire defender Eric Bailly lashed out at John Guidetti, who fell to the ground, before Argentina international Roncaglia got involved. Roncaglia and Bailly were sent off.
Guidetti had a chance to win the tie for Celta with the last kick of the game but failed to control the ball six metres from goal