Jose Mourinho attempts to play down Manchester United exit

During his spells with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, Mourinho has developed a reputation as the master of stifling the opposition before striking at the most opportune moment, but the tables were turned in dramatic fashion here.

While Montella's first substitute completely changed the match, none of Mourinho's moves did anything to improve United's chances as the Special One was outcoached all over the pitch, but particularly in the middle of the park.

Questions will be asked as to why Mourinho switched around the team and formation from that game.

Manchester United welcomed the Spanish side to the Theatre of Dreams following a goalless draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash last month.

- Picture by Action Images via ReutersMANCHESTER, March 14 - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted European disappointment is nothing new for the English giants after losing 2-1 to Sevilla at Old Trafford to crash out of the Champions League by the same scoreline on aggregate.

Mourinho defended his side's display and added: "I don't think the performance was bad".

Man United should not have been caught cold by Sevilla substitute Ben Yedder, considering his Champions League exploits against Liverpool this season.

Clutching desperately at the thinnest of straws, Mourinho suggested United had no time for self-recrimination because they had an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Brighton coming up at the weekend. After receiving the ball from Sarabia just outside the box, he controlled before blasting a low shot into the bottom-right corner.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "One of my regrets is never having had him as a player because I think he was one of the greatest players in English football".

"Lukaku was probably United's best out-field player but he was just given no real support and he was given no real quality played into him". "We tried, we lost and that's football", the Portuguese manager said after the loss. "We are not the only team that invests money in players".

But it was to little avail as United have now failed to reach the quarter-finals for four straight years.

Sevilla fans will be celebrating late into the night, their club has, after all won a match in England for the very first time and the team at the receiving end of that defeat are none other than Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.

Vanessa Coleman