Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United were so dominant in the first half against Basle that it seemed ‘impossible not to win’ and insists they remain in a comfortable position despite the shock loss.
The Swiss side absorbed heavy pressure from the group leaders before Michael Lang secured a famous victory with a smash-and-grab strike in the 89th minute, leaving United in need of a point to guarantee qualification.
But Mourinho was defiant in defeat and claimed Manchester United deserved to be well ahead after hitting the woodwork twice in the first half and reminded critics that they are still almost certain to make the knockout stages.
Manchester United were made to wait for qualification to the knockout rounds after the defeat
Jose Mourinho insists his side should have been five goals to the good after the first half
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Mourinho said: ‘We lost because in the first half it should be 5-0, we could not score one after being so dominant in such an easy way that it seemed impossible not to win.
‘But if you miss so many chances you put yourself in this situation. The feeling in the second half is that it would be 0-0, but then they scored.
Anthony Martial hit the woodwork along with defender Marcos Rojo during the first half
‘Only thing I see is that they put in a low cross and the wing back appeared behind [Daley] Blind. I don’t think it is fair to blame him, we have to blame everyone on the pitch; it is always risk if you give so many chances.’
‘What do we need against CSKA? We don’t need to win the match. I don’t even think we need to draw. We can lose by some numbers and still go through.’
Manchester United face CSKA Moscow in their final group game and would fail to qualify if they lose by six or more goals to give Basle a chance of surmounting them.
They will also drop to second in the group, behind CSKA, if they lose by five goals. Neither situation is likely to occur.