Jose Mourinho is happy to have this week’s easy game out of the way, thus his Manchester United side can fully focus on the Champions League round of 16 and FA Cup quarterfinals.
Saturday’s clash at Old Trafford, which Man United won 2-1, was merely the least important of United’s three fixtures this week. Given that Tuesday’s Champions League round-of-16 second leg against Sevilla (0-0 after the first leg) will determine whether or not the Red Devils advance to the quarterfinals, and Saturday’s clash with Brighton & Hove Albion could see United through to a Wembley semifinal, he’s not wrong.
It’s just that, when Mourinho says something like that, it’s going to be interpreted as having a deeper meaning. No one is more aware of this than him, and he says it anyway — quotes from the Guardian:
“Seville and Brighton are more important games than Liverpool. Liverpool is Liverpool, it is a big match, it is a match against a direct competition for the top four. But nothing is decided yet.
“We have eight more games and 24 points to play for. But Seville and Brighton are die or live games so the next two are much more important than this one.”
Next Mourinho’s going to tell us he’d be fine losing twice each to Liverpool and Manchester City and go on to win the Premier League title. While technically true, the ulterior motive is clear as day in both instances.