Mourinho already making excuses for Chelsea tie

Date published: Monday 20th February 2017 12:35 - Matthew Stead

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has told Chelsea they have the Premier League title in the bag and can already begin focusing on an FA Cup quarter-final against his side.

United booked their place in the last eight by edging Championship strugglers Blackburn 2-1 on Sunday, Zlatan Ibrahimovic stepping off the bench to settle matters after goals from Danny Graham and Marcus Rashford.

Their reward was a trip to Mourinho’s former Stamford Bridge stomping ground for the first time since October, when the Blues ran out 4-0 winners in a significant show of strength.

The Portuguese wasted no time in framing the narrative, suggesting Chelsea’s eight-point lead had effectively settled the title race and they could now focus on making it a domestic double.

Mourinho was equally keen to point out how crowded United’s schedule is, with a Europa League campaign ongoing, an EFL Cup final appearance on the horizon and the battle for fourth place intensifying.

Despite initially offering “no reaction” to the draw, Mourinho quickly changed tack.

“Probably Chelsea can only think about that (the FA Cup) because I think they are champions and they have nothing else to fight for,” he said.

“The FA Cup is something I believe is important for them. I have to play St Etienne (on Wednesday), I have to play the (League Cup) final, I have to play hopefully another opponent in the Europa League. I have to fight for a top-four position in the Premier League.

“I have so many things to think about.”

Those differences stressed, he then added: “The match is in one month’s time. I don’t want to be speaking about it.”

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