‘I was insulted for 90 minutes’ – Mourinho justifies Juve gesture after thrilling comeback
The manager revelled in the jeers of the Turin crowd at the final whistle but pointed out that he was given a rough reception throughout the match.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has justified his decision to taunt the Juventus support following a fine 2-1 comeback victory for the Red Devils in Turin.
Unbeaten in all competitions so far in 2018-19, Juve looked set for yet another win when Cristiano Ronaldo sent them ahead in the second half against struggling United.
But Mourinho’s men had other ideas, drawing level through Juan Mata before Alex Sandro’s last-minute own goal gave them a priceless win.
The Special One is not fondly remembered in Turin, due to his exploits with the club’s bitter rivals Inter that included a treble win in 2008-9.
But after holding his hand up to his ear at the final whistle with a grin on his face, Mourinho believes he had every right to enjoy the triumph.
“I was insulted for 90 minutes. I came here to do my job, nothing more,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“I didn’t offend anyone at the end, I just made a gesture that I wanted to hear them louder. I probably shouldn’t have done it, and with a cool head I wouldn’t have done it, but with my family insulted, including my Inter family, I reacted like this.”
Understandably, Mourinho preferred to focus on the positives, including one of the biggest results managed so far during his United tenure against an elite European side.
“We played a fantastic game, to our top level, as we cannot be any better than this. We came here to play like a team that was against a side with different potential on every level,” he added.
“We managed to win because we played a very, very positive match and we looked for the victory to the very end. We looked for it.”
He also praised Mata and much-maligned midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who came off the bench to change the course of the game.
“Fellaini changes the game, most often at home. We didn’t have him in the first leg, Juventus introduced Barzagli to control us, but we immediately went direct and got the goals,” Mourinho explained.
“We introduced Juan Mata not for the free kicks, but to put the crosses in for Fellaini, who always dominates in the air.
“A point or three would’ve changed little for Juventus, but three points makes a big difference to us.”
United now sit in second place in Group H, two points clear of nearest rivals Valencia who downed Young Boys 3-1 earlier on Wednesday to keep their own bid for the last 16 alive.