Inwardly, Jose Mourinho must have cursed his luck when he learnt of the quarterfinal draw of the FA Cup after the hard-fought victory over Owen Doyle’s Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
The Portuguese manager started his mind games when asked of his opinion ahead of the mouthwatering clash away at former employers, Chelsea. He shifted all the pressure to Chelsea, claiming that the Blues can focus all their attention on the prestigious cup, as they have seemingly won The Premier League title.
The West Londoners are 8 points clear at the top of the table after 25 matches played, and beat The Red Devils back in October with a humiliating 4-0 score line.
However, a lot has changed since then. Gone is the fragile defence of the Old Trafford outfit, replaced by a determination to re-establish themselves as the superpower of English football.
Antonio Conte must have seen the progress made by Jose Mourinho’s side since that defeat on them some five months ago, and must clearly be thinking of a way to stop their rivals from progressing to the semifinals of the Cup.
Goals from Pedro, Hazard, Cahill and Kante made it an unwelcome return for Mourinho at the Bridge, and he will surely be motivated to knock out his former team, who sacked him in the middle of last season.
United have only lost just once since that time, a controversial goal by Hull City in the second leg of the EFL Cup semifinals. There are few managers who love spoiling the party, and Jose Mourinho is one of such tacticians who love to tear the script.
The club are in the Final of the EFL Cup, are just two points behind the Top 4, and are also on course for the Europa League. The FA Cup will also be very important, and if knocking out Chelsea is part of the script, Jose won’t mind.