It seemed like self-preservation at the time. But given United’s fortunes since, the Portuguese coach was spot on.
“I keep saying and thinking and feeling that the second last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game,” Mourinho said.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho after his departure in December 2018 and it’s been a mixed 11 months for the Norwegian.
There have been highs, including the 3-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain in last season’s Champions League - and lows, such as the Red Devils’ making their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign.
Man United were in a dire position when Mourinho was sacked but he did deliver that second-placed finish as well as the Europa League and EFL Cup.
Does Mourinho’s XI, featuring Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marouane Fellaini, reign supreme?
Or does Solskjaer come out on top with Harry Maguire and Daniel James in his team?
The teams are as follows. Only three players feature in both sides: David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.
Mourinho’s XI: (4-2-3-1)
David de Gea; Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian; Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba; Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford; Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Subs: Sergio Romero, Marcus Rojo, Nemanja Matic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, Romelu Lukaku
Solskjaer’s XI: (4-2-3-1)
David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba; Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James; Marcus Rashford
Subs: Sergio Romero, Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood
So Solskjaer’s side come out on top.
They win a contentious penalty in the 38th minute but Pogba sees his attempt saved by De Gea.
Pogba missing a penalty? Shock.
The score is 0-0 at half-time and the stats show just how dire it was.
Mourinho replaced Ibrahimovic with Lukaku at half-time but Solskjaer’s team take the lead, with Pogba making up for his earlier penalty miss with a thunderous effort from outside the area.
Mourinho’s team equalise and Fellaini gets the goal. Of course he does.
The Portuguese coach turned to Fellaini so often during his spell at Old Trafford and the Belgian delivered in the virtual world by converting Lukaku’s pass.
However, a late winner from Fred secures the win for Team Ole.
Final match statsNews Now - Sport News