Mourinho says City as good as out
Soccer:Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has told Manchester City their Champions League bid is already over — and that it must hurt. The Premier League winners must beat the Spanish giants in their Group D clash at the Etihad Stadium to retain just a slim hope of reaching the knockout stages.
Even then they would need to follow up by beating Borussia Dortmund in Germany in a fortnight and still hope other results went in their favour to progress.
Mourinho says that is not going to happen and feels that must be damaging for a team that should be capable of winning the Champions League.
The former Chelsea boss said: “I think they are a team to win the competition - one of the teams to win the competition.
“I think it is normal if a big team doesn’t win the competition because there are other teams with the same power, desire and responsibility, and only one can win. I don’t think it is normal when you are out of the competition at the very early stage.
“I speak for myself. If Real Madrid loses a final or semi-final, or even a quarter-final, that is football. When you are out at the group phase it is more difficult to accept and understand. Last season they are out, and I think this season they will be out again.
“I think they can win tomorrow, of course they can, and they can also win in Dortmund, why not, but eight points is not enough. So I think they are out for the second consecutive time and that must be difficult for them.”
Real are well placed to qualify themselves even though it is Dortmund that top the group with eight points.
Mourinho’s side have seven with Ajax on four and City two in a tough group comprised of domestic champions.
Mourinho, for whom the game will be his 100th in the Champions League, said: “This is a very difficult group. Since the beginning we knew a big team is out, probably two. We know every mistake costs and we have known since the beginning everything in this group is in risk.
“Other teams are playing easy groups and have known from day one they would qualify easily. City, Real Madrid and Borussia all want to win the competition, we all can but we all know we can be out in the group stage, especially as Ajax are also taking points and have some ambitions.”