Jose Mourinho needs to lead Manchester United to victory over his former side Chelsea in an English Premier League match at Old Trafford on Sunday (tomorrow) for a number of reasons.
Firstly, he has to avoid third loss to the Blues this season. Number two: he needs to silence Chelsea’s fans who abused him during his last visit to the Stamford Bridge. Thirdly, he has to keep United in the race for the top-four finish and lastly, he has to avoid an unwanted record of a Manchester United manager whoachieved the fewest home victories in a season in the EPL era.
Mourinho’s first meeting with his former club as Manchester United boss ended in a fiasco as his side were humiliated 4-0 at the Stamford Bridge. He managed a respectable 1-0 defeat in his second tie but his outfit consequently exited the FA Cup.
He will be desperate to get at least one over his former employers this time. The Special One guided Chelsea to three EPL titles during his two spells at the club, cutting a hero figure at the Stamford Bridge but he was surprisingly booed by a section of the fans when he visited at the last time.
He characteristically chided his critics afterwards but he will be keen to answer them with good result at Old Trafford today and slow down the Blues’ charge to the title. A victory over the Blues will certainly help his side in the push to qualify for the Champions League next term via the league.
Five teams are jostling for three remaining slots for the lucrative tournament as Chelsea have already picked the first ticket and fifth-placed Man United, who are four points behind fourth placed Manchester City will brighten their chances with a win on Sunday. However, determination to avoid another unwanted record could also guide the Portuguese to leading his side to victory tomorrow.
Man United have won just six of their 16 home games so far and have just three to go – starting with league leaders Chelsea this weekend. They play Swansea and Crystal Palace following Chelsea but failure to win this weekend will leave them short of games to catch the total posted by David Moyes’ side in 2013-14.
Moyes recorded seven wins from 16 games before being sacked and replaced by Ryan Giggs who won two from his three home games. Mourinho has guided United to the EFL Cup and has them on course to win the Europa League.
Mourinho insists he will feel no emotion when he faces his former club for the third time this season, insisting the tie is just another football match. “You say that word emotion. For me, it is just a game. One more game. No difference for me, not at all,” he said.