The United manager believes his team deserve more credit than they have received for beating a Spurs side who overwhelmed Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Tottenham have received plenty of plaudits for both that win and a 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool in the Premier League just under two weeks ago.
Indeed, their manager Mauricio Pochettino said after Wednesday’s win at Wembley that his team could now be considered among the best in Europe.
Mourinho, by contrast, has faced criticism for his team’s defensive performance in a 0-0 draw at Liverpool last month, and was unhappy at the grumblings from some sections of the crowd at Old Trafford during last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Spurs.
The United manager can point to the fact that his team have scored 23 league goals this season, four more than Tottenham – but only seven of those have come in the past five games.
He said: “Similar performances for some clubs are magic, are examples of brilliant tactics and amazing attitudes of the players, and for other teams the same kind of performance becomes conservative, becomes negative, becomes so many adjectives.
“But honestly, just as an example, Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1. Tottenham beat Real Madrid 3-1. Tottenham didn’t score against Manchester United. So my players deserve at least a little bit of credit.”
United visit Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday but Mourinho has tried to play down the significance of his return to Stamford Bridge in the wake of recent controversy between the two clubs.
Mourinho, who won three league titles during two spells as Chelsea manager, accused opposite number Antonio Conte of “humiliating” Manchester United with the extent of his celebrations after a 4-0 win in the league last October.
Then when they met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in March, United midfielder Ander Herrera was given a disputed red card for a foul on Eden Hazard, before Conte accused Mourinho’s side of setting out to kick the Belgium winger repeatedly.
There have been more verbal exchanges between the two managers since, but Mourinho has tried to stay out of trouble this time.
He said: “It’s a big thing because it’s a big match. It’s a big opponent. They are champions. It’s one these matches between the top teams in the country. But from the emotional point of view, it’s just one game.
“I played there with Inter and twice with Manchester United. I have to admit it’s a little bit different but in the end I want to win like I did with Inter. They want to win like they did last season, and it’s just one more day.
“And in a couple of years, it will be even more natural, and in four or five years, probably nobody will remember that I was Chelsea manager.
“It’s a big match, but not because of that at all. It’s a big match because they are the champions. It’s a big match because we are Manchester United. No more than that.”
Published at Thu, 02 Nov 2017 22:30:00 +0000