MANCHESTER - Jose Mourinho's return to Old Trafford turned sour on Wednesday when his mission to steer Inter Milan to Champions League glory ended in failure with a 2-0 defeat by Manchester United. Mourinho danced down the Old Trafford touchline in 2004 when his Porto side scored a late equaliser to dump United out of the Champions League, a result that paved the way for his arrival at Chelsea where he won two league titles. It was very different on Wednesday when headers by Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo condemned his side to a loss which left them to focus solely on retaining the Scudetto. "Nobody can say we didn't do our homework, we watched 50 DVDs of what Vidic does at corners and still he scored," the Portuguese snapped back when asked about how the Serb defender had been unmarked to score in the fourth minute. Asked why Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of Inter's best headers of a ball, had not been assigned to mark Vidic, Mourinho said: "Because he was marking Ronaldo, he couldn't be in two places at the same time." ROUGH NIGHT It was a rough night for Mourinho, tipped as a future United manager, who said he would meet Inter's president to discuss his plans to take the club forward. However, it could have been different had his side not twice been denied by the woodwork and squandered the numerous chances that came their way in the first half. "United deserved to win in that they did win and scored two goals over the two games," he said. "That's something we have to accept but I don't think anyone should be negative about my team's display. "Anyone who does criticise them will have to fight me as well. I think we played well but we didn't have any luck. I don't like to talk about luck because it seems like you are calling into question your opponents, but you need luck against a very good side." Mourinho had previously been something of a nemesis for Ferguson, losing just one of their 13 meetings. But he was generous in his praise of United and believes they could go on to win an unprecedented five trophies this season. "This team has reached the maximum level," he said. "They have experience, quality, great fitness and an intensity in their game which you also need to win the Champions League." For Mourinho, the priority is to make sure his first season in Serie A ends with the league title. "We can't win the Champions League now but there's no reason why we can't go on and win the Scudetto. I am sure we will go on and win the Italian title."
12 March 2009
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