Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mourinho loses his cool after drab display

Inter coach Jose Mourinho was feeling the heat on Tuesday night after a post-match snipe at referee Luis Medina Cantelejo.

The 'Special One' was distinctly unimpressed with the handling of the game by Cantalejo after four of his players were booked, including substitute goalkeeper Francesco Toldo - who received a yellow card for protesting by the touchline.

In a blast to deflect attention away from his struggling side he said: "Hopefully in the next game (at Old Trafford) the referee will be on our side...I don't want to go into details of things like how we didn't have a penalty.

"Everything was against us, every little detail. You watch how many free-kicks they had and we had. The way we got yellow cards and they did not. I think the tendency was clear."

UEFA have revealed they will look into Mourinho's comments and the former Chelsea boss could face a touchline ban - possibly for the second leg.

It would be music to the ears of United's faithful, who will thus be excused another Mourinho jig down the touchline if Inter manage to defy the football odds (2.54 to qualify) and do the business in the return leg.

Sir Alex Ferguson however saw Cantalejo's performance in a different light.

"The referee was first class," said Ferguson. "He wasn't intimidated, which is probably what Jose wanted."

In truth it was Morinho's Inter side who were disappointing and not the man in the middle. The Serie A giants were second best for long periods of the game and only wasteful finishing prevented United from taking a first-leg lead back to Old Trafford.

United, who are football odds of 1.64 to progress to the quarter-finals, will have to be cautious though, remember Mourinho's Porto five years ago?

Fergie's men were heading through on away goals until Costinha's last-minute equaliser put United out and a goal for Inter in two weeks' time would mean United would have to score twice.

By Phil Tomlinson

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