Most Manchester United fans really enjoyed the way Jose Mourinho celebrated the massive 2-1 Champions League victory over Juventus in Turin on Wednesday night whilst the minority were not so keen and of course the media have had a field day with the incident.
The Juventus fans certainly did not like the way Mourinho arrogantly cupped his hand to his ear – it really got under their skin.
Surely from a United point of view Jose deserved to bask in the glory of the victory given all the crap he has had to listen to this season not to mention the way former Red-Devil Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his strike – he certainly did not hold back or show any respect to his former club.
The United boss has had a beef with what he has perceived to be a lack of respect shown towards him this season after United’s slow start to the campaign. It has to be said however that Jose predicted the problematic early season for his team given the huge number of his players who played key roles in the World Cup for their countries plus the relatively quiet summer the club had in the transfer market.
If nothing else “the Special One” does deserve respect for what he has accomplished in the game as he has won everywhere he has gone and he has truly cemented himself in the highest echelon of managers in the modern era. He has won League titles in 4 of the biggest 6 Leagues in the world as well as adding Champions League titles at Porto and Inter Milan making him one of only 5 managers to win the Champions League with more than one team. Let’s not get into the Europa League win and other trophies he has won with United so far as his work fortunately is not finished at Old Trafford and he will add to his haul so let’s wait to pass judgement on his Red-Devils career.
Winning in Turin was massive and I think Jose was right to celebrate in whatever way he saw fit – it is good for the club – that’s Jose and if he is getting loads of press for his celebrations then it has to be a good sign.
Shifting our attention to the Manchester Derby, if Jose can deliver another stunner this weekend at the Etihad with a United win, then all of a sudden Neymar’s Premier League prediction is going to seem even more likely.
Jose always comes out fighting and it seems as though he is enjoying being written off by many pundits and opponents this season and then proving them wrong. United’s games against their main rivals – Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester City and Chelsea are going to pretty much determine where Mourinho’s men finish and these games are going to heavily influence the title race too.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are riding high – leading the Premier League over Chelsea and Liverpool by 2 points, facing Fulham in the round of sixteen in the Carabao Cup for a place in the quarter-finals and they are through to the knockout phase of the Champions League.
City qualified for the Champions League knockout round after only the 4th round of matches despite losing their opening match at home to Lyon and come into the Derby on the back of a 6-0 thumping of Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday night. It is hard to imagine City having better preparations for the game even though there have been stories this week of financial irregularities at the Etihad.
Looking at the way the markets are viewing this weekend’s game, the bookies are making City massive favourites for the Derby and for the best odds according to Oddschecker.com you can now get a City win at 41/100 through Marathon Bet, a draw is available at 43/10 via 188BET while the best value odds come with a bet on a United win at 41/5 on Matchbook.
City will be looking for revenge after United spoiled their Premier League winning party last season when the Red-Devils came back to win with 2 second half goals beating City 2-1. Guardiola will be looking for Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez and the in-form Gabriel Jesus to provide the goals for his team with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and David Silva also massive threats.
I predicted a Man United win against Chelsea a few weeks ago which we know finished as a draw and while my colleague has predicted a 2-2 draw in the Manchester Derby on Facebook, I think Jose Mourinho CAN win the Derby and United WILL pull off a shock win on Sunday vs City by a 3-2 scoreline. I just see Jose doing what he does best and delivering another unlikely result when he is written off.
Look for Anthony Martial to shine and Alexis Sanchez to run himself into the ground as he looks to make a point to Pep Guardiola and show Manchester City just what they are missing after not signing him last January.
Martial will be buoyed by his recall to the French national team squad and he is enjoying his longest run of games under Jose Mourinho as the Derby will be his 6th Premier League game in a row. The run in the 1st XI is certainly paying dividends for both Martial and the club as the starlet has bagged 5 goals in his last 4 matches in the top flight.
How do you see the Manchester Derby finishing? Can United secure a memorable Derby win?