Jose Mourinho revelled in witnessing Manchester United qualify for the Champions League knockout phases, even though his side needed a late Marouane Fellaini winner to see off Young Boys.
It had appeared as though United would go a third European home game without scoring – a barren streak they had never previously managed in their entire history.
However, Fellaini popped up with a 91st-minute winner to seal a 1-0 success at Old Trafford, and Juventus’ victory over Valencia ensured United progressed to the last 16 of the competition.
That meant familiar failings in front of goal were able to be brushed aside by Mourinho, who instead focused on the bigger picture in a tournament he has previously won with both Porto and Inter.
“I’m happy with the intensity that the boys put in the game,” he told BT Sport of his team’s performance.
“Of course I’m happy with the way we started – the intention that we started with was exactly that intention.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 27, 2018
“Of course then it’s not easy for the boys to cope with the frustration and the pressure of a result that doesn’t suit us. But obviously the most important thing is to qualify.
“For some of my lovers, I just want to say – for the ones that like stats – 14 seasons in the Champions League, 14 times [teams] qualify through the group phases, never one of my teams stay behind [after] the group phase.
“The season I didn’t play Champions League, I won the Europa League. It’s a good record.”
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