Jose Mourinho disclosed his tactics to students on how his team won the Europa League.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has willing shared the tactical plan which helped his side cruise to victory in the Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.
The Former Chelsea boss was happy as he revealed the secrets whilst speaking as a guest lecturer to Lisbon’s Faculdade de Motricidade Humana University students.
“I watched eight Ajax matches,” he said, according to Portuguese paper Tribuna Expresso .
“In England, I tend to watch two to three matches because I already know the opponent, but not in Europe. To me, analysing the opponent is key because the way I practice and play is influenced by it.
‘We wanted to create instability. We would let them play out from the back while blocking De Ligt, their right centre-back, making them play through Davinson Sanchez who had more trouble.’
Mourinho also explained how he composed a dossier of his rival’s offensive qualities, turning to their defensive organisation on the second day and tactics on the third.
‘We’d make our full-back close down well that central space and if the ball entered a wide area for their winger, the full-back would close him down and Herrera would be the one covering that space in midfield, Mourinho Continued.
‘But what matters is that my players understand we cannot have doubts there – defensive creativity only in emergency situations.
‘We prepare a game better when we’re aware of our own weaknesses. Everyone said Ajax played beautiful football and that the beauty of the game matters and bla, bla, bla. I told my players that, for me, beautiful is not giving our opponents what they want.
‘I even joked with Smalling – “With your feet, we’re for sure not playing out from the back!”
‘That’s where we won the game. During the initial stage of the build-up we never played from our centre-backs to our midfielders, because they are great at recovering possession pressing high. In our midfield they didn’t recover the ball once. If the ball isn’t there, what are they going to press?’
His tactical prowess helped Manchester United in qualifying for the Champions League.