Mourinho defends his big-eared celebration

Sports | 9 Nov 2018

Jose Mourinho defended his taunting of Juventus supporters after Manchester United grabbed a sensational 2-1 win over the Italians in Turin to boost their chances of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Former United player Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus a deserved lead in the second half, but despite being outplayed for almost all of the Group H match United struck back with a free-kick from Juan Mata in the 86th minute and a scrappy own goal by Leonardo Bonucci in stoppage time.

"If you understand Italian you will know I was insulted by them for 90 minutes," Mourinho said after cupping an ear to the home fans at the final whistle, prompting a cascade of howling whistles. "I didn't offend anyone. I just made a gesture to tell them that I wanted to hear them louder.

"I probably shouldn't have done it, and with a cool head I wouldn't have."

Mourinho's reaction came on the day the English Football Association said it would appeal against a decision that saw the United manager escape punishment for a crude outburst in Portuguese in front of television cameras following a 3-2 win over Newcastle United last month.

An independent regulatory commission went on to clear Mourinho of the charge after consulting language experts.

Despite Juventus hitting the woodwork twice and David de Gea making a string of great saves, Mourinho said he was pleased with his side's performance after the team had been outplayed and beaten 1-0 by Juve two weeks previously at Old Trafford.

"It is a fantastic victory for us - a victory that is not just about the points we lost at home," he said. "It is about the feeling of how well we played ... even if this game didn't end with a victory I would have the same feeling: the team played really, really well against a super team."

REUTERS

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