Football

Title triumphs to European glory: Mourinho's greatest managerial moments

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José Mourinho - Inter-Juventus - Serie A 2009/2010 - Imago

Image credit: Imago

ByPete Hall
28/04/2020 at 06:17 | Updated 28/04/2020 at 09:20

A decade on from one of Jose Mourinho's finest hours as Inter dramatically knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League, we look at 10 of his greatest managerial moments.

After a 3-1 first-leg victory in their 2019-10 Champions League semi-final tie, Inter travelled to Barcelona to take on Pep Guardiola's holders in the return leg, but were soon up against it after Thiago Motta was sent off.

Inter had to defend manfully with over an hour left to play with 10 men, but they held off the Barca onslaught to give Mourinho the last laugh in the face of those who labelled him "The Translator", sprinting around the stadium with his arms aloft on the final whistle.

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Join us this evening to relive that famous, perhaps even infamous, night as Mourinho danced on the pitch at the Camp Nou and Barcelona turned the sprinklers on an Inter team that within a month would be crowned treble winners. The ilive' starts at 7pm and 'kick-off' is at 7:45pm!

Here we look at 10 times the Portuguese has proven he is one of the all-time great coaches.

Knocking out Manchester United en route to Champions League triumph

Back when he had longer, flowing, black hair, not many were privy to the world of Jose Mourinho, and all that comes with it, but after having clashed with Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline as Porto got the better of Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter in 2004, the previously unknown rookie coach announced himself in a manner only he could.

After Costinha’s last-gasp equaliser at Old Trafford in the return leg sent Porto sensationally through to the last eight, Mourinho headed for the tunnel early, broad smile across his face, rattling the cages of all those in attendance – a glorious sign of things to come – before steering Porto to a maiden Champions League triumph, which, in an era of the superclub, was quite something.

Jose Mourinho lifted the Carling Cup in 2005 despite being sent off during the final

Image credit: PA Sport

Silencing Liverpool to win first trophy

Mourinho arrived in England to much bluster, with accusations aplenty that the “Special One” was arrogant and had not proven himself in a top league as yet. That was all about to change as Mourinho, in typically brash fashion, soon picked up his first trophy – the 2005 League Cup.

The final against Liverpool was a feisty affair, with Mourinho sent to the stands after making a “shush” gesture towards Liverpool fans following Chelsea’s equaliser, but had the last laugh as Chelsea earned victory in extra time, giving the Portuguese the first of many trophies in England.

Records start to tumble as first Chelsea Premier League title comes at a canter

The trophies kept coming for Mourinho, with his new-look Chelsea side sweeping aside anyone who stood in their path on their way to a first domestic league title in half a century.

Mourinho’s men lost just once all season, won the league by 12 points, and broke a host of records along the way, including most wins in a single season (29), and highest number of points achieved (95), both records since surpassed by Manchester City. Mourinho’s impact, unequivocally, was instant.

Jose proves to be no flash in the pan with fourth successive domestic league title

After beating Arsenal in the Community Shield 2005/06 curtain raiser, Chelsea topped the Premier League table from the off, and never looked back as Mourinho picked up his fourth-successive league winner’s medal is as many seasons.

Fourteen wins out of the first 16 league games set Chelsea on their way, with the Blues even able to afford to have a March wobble before cruising to back-to-back titles by 12 points. Beating Manchester United to clinch the title was the icing on the cake.

Mourinho won back-to-back titles with Chelsea

Image credit: Getty Images

Turning domestic glory into historic success on the continent at Inter

In what was a first for Mourinho, he inherited a team who were already domestic champions when he took the Inter helm, tasked with masterminding success on the continent for a club desperate to add to their two European Cup crowns, back to back titles earned in 1964 and 1965.

It did not go well in Europe in his first season in Italy, but a fourth title in a row for Inter kept fans appeased. The following year, however, after that famous semi-final success over Barca, Inter went all the way by beating Bayern in the final to seal a place for Mourinho in the pantheon of football managers to have won European Cups with two different clubs.

Three years in Madrid – a remarkable achievement in itself

Having left Milan in floods of tears, Mourinho opted to have a crack at the poisoned chalice that was Real Madrid in 2010, becoming their 11th manager in seven seasons, tasked with restoring the Spanish giants back to their former glory.

The very fact he became only the second Real coach since 1986 to coach over 100 games for a club with Real’s penchant for a sacking is something to feature pretty high on even a CV as glittering as Mourinho’s.

Knocking Pep off his perch in style with 100-goal title success

Pep Guardiola and Mournho have always relished their face offs, but early on in their tussles, Guardiola had the advantage, with a Barca side widely regarded as one of the best ever looking seemingly unstoppable coming into the 2011-12 La Liga season.

However, Mourinho had other ideas. Real stormed to a first league title in four years in emphatic fashion, improving on the most goals scored in a La Liga season in the previous campaign (121), to finish with a remarkable goal difference of +89. A win at the Nou Camp in April capped off a season year for Mourinho and Los Blancos, with Guardiola departing at the end of the season.

Mourinho got the better of Pep Guardiola in 2011-12

Image credit: Eurosport

Back ‘home’ and proving there are still few better in the crucial clashes

A calmer, more assured and visibly greyer Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in 2013, promising to be less of a showman, more man of the people. Immediate success did not follow, however, but in one crucial match at the business end of the 2013/14 season, Mourinho reinforced his position as one of the very best in games that matter most.

With Liverpool aiming for a first Premier League crown, Chelsea arrived at Anfield for an April showdown, to much fanfare. Mourinho, however, thrived on the big occasion, putting on a tactical masterclass to stifle the free-scoring Reds to earn a 2-0 win. The run down the touchline, beating his chest in celebration, proved the fire was still there in abundance.

Taming wild beast Costa to orchestrate another Chelsea title success

After a third-placed finish in his first season back, Mourinho knew he needed something to spark his Chelsea 2.0 into life, and that came in one of the fiercest characters the Premier League has ever seen – Diego Costa.

Costa seemed to be the Mourinho-type player, always looking to antagonise for his own gain, but, more often than not, came up with the goods. Chelsea won the title with three games to spare, losing only three games all season, to give Mourinho that familiar feeling on English soil.

His self-proclaimed greatest achievement - steering poor Manchester United side to second

Much of what Mourinho says is for effect, but when he proclaimed that getting his United side to finish second in the Premier League in 2017/18 was his “greatest achievement”, while at his hyperbolic best, he may not have been completely wide of the mark.

In the three years following Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013, the highest United finished in the Premier League was fourth, as permanent decline seemed to have set in. While Mourinho could not restore the club to their grandeur of old, he did win two trophies – the League Cup and Europa League – in his first season, before steering United to second in his second season. Such a feat, given United have sank back down to sixth following his departure, perhaps highlights he did very impressive things with a not all that impressive squad.

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