Jose Mourinho has refused to rule out Manchester United’s chances of winning the Premier League despite their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.
Goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi either side of half time gave Man City a deserved 2-1 win, ending Man United’s 40 game unbeaten run in the process.
United could have reduced the gap between the two sides to just five points but now lie 11 points off the league leaders with 16 games played.
But Mourinho, speaking after the game, was reluctant to insist that the title race was now over.
“Credit to them for the good quality they had in the principles of play,” he said. “I don’t know if the title is over.”
“They are a very good team. They are lucky, they have all the decisions in their favour but Wednesday is another Premier League day and I am sure everyone is going to fight for points and is trying to reduce the distance but the advantage is a very good one.”
Antonio Conte surprisingly admitted following defeat to West Ham United that Chelsea could no longer win the title. And while I fully agree that losing to David Moyes should immediately mean you’re out of the race by default, this is just poor PR from the Italian as well as demeaning to his players.
But of course he is right, and Mourinho will be thinking the same thing. United needed to give City a bloody nose at Old Trafford to show the rest of the Premier League that, well, it is actually possible to give them a bloody nose, potentially opening up some cracks as a result and giving others a blueprint for the business end of the campaign.
And they couldn’t. They didn’t get anywhere near doing that. Make no mistake: United have improved significantly from last season, but City have entered a different stratosphere.