Nemanja Vidic should get at least a two-match ban for his red card in the Club World Cup final and miss Manchester United's Champions League matches against Inter Milan, the Serie A club's coach Jose Mourinho said. The Serbia defender was sent off for elbowing striker Claudio Bieler in the face in United's 1-0 win over Liga de Quito and will serve his punishment in European competition with UEFA yet to decide the length of any ban. Mourinho also expressed surprise that England forward Wayne Rooney had been cleared of allegedly stamping on midfielder Kasper Risgard during United's 2-2 draw with AaB Aalborg last month. "I was amazed that Rooney was not banned," the Portuguese coach told Friday's La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I would be amazed if Vidic did not get at least two matches, which could be too little for a gesture like that in a match seen by the whole world." Mourinho repeated that he is happy to have been drawn against United in the first knockout round. "I wanted them because I don't see a great difference between Manchester, Bayern (Munich), Liverpool or Barcelona and, given that I love pressure and the excitement of the win-or-die match, I prefer to have the challenge of the European and world champions." MAJOR INJURIES He dismissed media speculation that the Serie A title-holders are interested in signing forward Michael Owen from Newcastle United. "I never thought of him," he said. "Over the last year he has had lots of major injuries and now he is not the Owen we knew." In a separate interview, the former Chelsea boss said it was a bigger challenge to coach in Serie A than in the Premier League. "English soccer is certainly a better produced product, thanks in part to a promotional structure that does not exist here," he told Mediaset television. "Soccer-wise, on the other hand, Italy is richer and more difficult. "It's easy to make the difference in England with a different tactical approach. Furthermore, the emotional side is highly charged in the Premier League and the physical and mental sides are strong too. "(Arsene) Wenger's work with Arsenal, when he won two or three championships, is an example of this and it's no coincidence that I arrived at Chelsea in 2004 and won the Premier League immediately. "In Italy the coach has to be more complete because it's always difficult tactically. You always have to expect the opponent to be working in secret to prepare the match to make your life difficult. I really like this." He added that his old rival Wenger must find it hard to have finished empty handed in recent seasons "I don't think it's easy for him, who won everything before 2004 breaking every record and has not even won a cup after," he said. "Obviously it's not easy but I respect him a great deal." Arsenal's last major trophy was the 2005 FA Cup.
2 January 2009
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