Jose Mourinho claimed “everything has to change” if Manchester United are to rejoin European football’s elite following their elimination from the Champions League last-16 at the hands of Sevilla.
Two second-half strikes from substitute Wissam Ben Yedder extinguished United’s hopes of reaching the last eight on a dour evening at Old Trafford which could not be saved by Romelu Lukaku’s late consolation.
United paid the price for a conservative approach in the first leg three weeks ago as their Spanish opponents found the away goals needed to take control of this tie as it entered its closing stages.
Sections of the Old Trafford crowd regularly implored United’s players to “attack, attack, attack” but could not revive a drab performance by Mourinho’s side that ended with just three shots on target and fewer clear-cut chances.
Mourinho defended United’s performance in his post-match press conference, claiming he had “no regrets” regarding his approach, but also suggested there is much work to do if the club is to regularly grace the latter stages of the Champions League again.
“Everything, everything has to change,” he said when asked what must be done for United to return to the elite level, before suggesting that part of the solution would be investing in the squad. “Everybody spends money, right? Not just us, no? It’s a natural process, every team invests.”
“I don’t have regrets. I did my best, the players they did their best. We tried. We lost. That’s football,” he added.
On his side’s all-round display, Mourinho said: “I don’t think the performance was bad. I think the intention and the way we started was really good, really positive. Then after 10-15 mins of that success without goals, Sevilla has a good team and they can hide the ball.
“In the first half, I don’t remember a dangerous situation for them. It was good control from them but without any kind of danger. We had again a good start in the second half and had chances to score.”
Mourinho added: “The first goal will always change the direction of the game and the first goal was for them. Sometimes I am lucky with my changes and sometimes other managers are, it was a good change by Vincenzo [Montella, the Sevilla manager] to bring on Ben Yedder.”