Man Utd are now Europa League favourites, says Mourinho

Posted Thursday, December 10, 2020 by

Man Utd are now Europa League favourites, says Mourinho

The Tottenham boss says the Red Devils have a great chance of winning the second-tier competition after being knocked out of the Champions League

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United are now "one of the top favourites" to win the Europa League.

United suffered a 3-2 defeat away at RB Leipzig on Tuesday which ensured that they missed out on qualification for the Champions League knockout stages.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men only needed a point at Red Bull Arena to progress from Group H, but goals from Angelino, Amadou Haidara and Justin Kluivert gave last season's semi-finalists a memorable victory.

Although a late Bruno Fernandes penalty and an own goal from Ibrahima Konate gave United hope of a dramatic comeback, they ultimately fell short after another erratic performance defined by individual errors at the back.

The Red Devils will now drop into Europe's second-tier competition after finishing third in the pool, which puts them on a potential collision course with current Premier League leaders Tottenham.

Spurs head coach Mourinho, who took in a spell at Old Trafford between 2016 and 2018, thinks United must automatically be considered as one of the frontrunners to lift the Europa League trophy after narrowly failing to get out of an all-star Champions League group.

"Manchester United become one of the top favourites to win the competition," the Portuguese told a press conference on Wednesday.

"The teams that drop from the Champions League are strong and normally don’t belong to the level of the Europa League.

"United are one of the top teams. The group was very hard with Paris Saint-Germain and Leipzig. We knew it was not going to be easy for any of them.”

Mourinho won the Europa League with the Red Devils three years ago, and has successfully guided Tottenham to the round of 32 this time around.

Spurs can secure top spot in Group J if they beat Antwerp on Wednesday, but Serge Aurier will not be available for selection after failing to shrug off a knock he picked up before the north London derby win over Arsenal last weekend.

However, Mourinho did confirm that Tanguy Ndombele will return in Europe when asked if he had any new injury news to report, as he responded: "We had doubts with many problems. Hugo [Lloris] and then Serge Aurier. Sergio [Reguilon] was a doubt.

"Serge will miss the game yes, because he had that problem before Arsenal.

"He is still not completely recovered, he had a reaction from the game. Pierre, no problems, it is just the fact that he is playing every match.

"He played last week three matches of 90 minutes, played Thursday in Austria and he played against Arsenal again.

"Now is his time, because we always try to give a rest to one or another player.

"Tanguy was a doubt until the last minute before Arsenal, now it is three or four days after. He is OK."

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