Jose Mourinho Has Thanked A Referee For Manchester United's Progress In Europe
If there's one thing that Jose Mourinho loves more than teasing Arsene Wenger, it's bemoaning the performance of a referee. The Portuguese manager is just as intrinsically linked to chastising officials as he is to winning trophies.
Yet, following Manchester United's progression to the final of this season's Europa League, last night, Mourinho has taken the extraordinary measure of thanking a referee for helping with his side's advancement in the tournament.
Although, in typical Mourinho fashion, even his compliment towards Michael Oliver is laced with sarcasm.
Oliver was the man tasked with refereeing United's FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the 13th March, when Ander Herrera was controversially dismissed after half an hour.
Mourinho has now thanked Michael Oliver for sending Ander Herrera off during the FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea. Image: PA
Mourinho's men would go onto lose the game 1-0 thanks to a strike from N'Golo Kante and Mourinho pointed to Herrera's red card as the pivotal point of the match where the tie swung in Chelsea's favour.
However, given that United's elimination from the FA Cup has ended up freeing up some space in what was becoming a chaotic schedule for Mourinho's men as they competed on several fronts, the United boss has now changed his mind on the sending off. Somewhat.
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"They [Ajax] will have 12 days to prepare for the final and we will have three matches in the Premier League to play with a group of 15-16 players after a crazy season with so many matches.
"We have played so many matches because we progressed to two finals and the last 16 in the FA Cup.
"I have to say thank you to Michael Oliver for that red card to Ander Herrera because we couldn't survive going further in the FA Cup. So let's try to prepare the team as best we can."
Mourinho wasn't exactly thrilled with Oliver's performance at the time. Image: PA
United's 2-1 aggregate victory over Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the Europa League means Mourinho's team will now meet Ajax in the final in Stockholm on 24th May. Victory there will ensure the Red Devils a place in next season's Champions League.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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