Manchester United among top favourites to win Europa League – Jose Mourinho

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After the elimination of Manchester United from the UEFA Champions League into the Europa League, Tottenham manager, Jose Mourinho has said Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team is among the top favourites to win the competition.

Mourinho had won the competition with United in 2017, defeating Ajax 2-0 in the final. United found themselves in the European second-tier club competition after losing their final group game 3-2 against Leipzig that progressed to the next round at their expense.

Jose Mourinho lifted Europa League trophy with Manchester United in 2017

With Spurs already qualified for the last 32, there is a likelihood the might have to face their former manager again later in the tournament.

“The teams that drop down are always strong teams, teams that normally don’t belong to that level. Manchester United are one of the top teams. The group was very hard – Paris St-Germain, Manchester and Leipzig, very hard.

“We all knew it was not going to be easy for any one of them and we all knew from that group a top team would drop into the Europa League,” he said.

Europa League: Manchester United belongs to the top – Mourinho

Mourinho took charge of the Red Devils in 2016 and subsequently record Europa League success in 2017. He also guided the Old Trafford club to victory in the Carabao Cup the same year.

He was however relieved of his job in December 2018 after a string of poor results. He was then recalled into management by Tottenham the following November after the sack of Mauricio Pochentinno.

Under Mourinho, the North London side to the top of the Premier League after strings of impressive results. Their last encounter was a bragging right between them and Arsenal, which they won 2-0.

A victory in today’s final Europa League group match at home to Royal Antwerp will guarantee first place.

“When you have eight new teams in the competition, and eight teams that belong to another level and they drop to the Europa League, of course, the level of the competition is going to improve.

“The quality improves, the intensity improves and it’s a good thing for the competition.

“But from the sports point of view, I think it’s not fair that a team that doesn’t succeed in one competition drops to another,” added Mourinho.

Can United finally win somthing under Solskjaer

Now that United has moved down the pecking order to the Europa, Solksjaer will be hoping to at least lift his first title with the club as a manager after losing in three semi-finals last season.

Manchester United has the personnel to win games, but such late start against Leipzig in a match they ony needed a draw could cost them against an opponent that begins on a good note.