Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur progressed to the last 32 of Europa League as Group J winners with a 2-0 win over Antwerp.
The Portuguese will be joined by his former club Man United in the next round of the competition following the Red Devils exit from the Champions League. Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig sealed their place in the knockout stages ahead of United and Istanbul Basaksehir from Group H.
In a press conference ahead of Thursday’s match against the Belgian outfit, Mourinho declared the record Premier League champions as one of the favourites to win the Europa League.
The former Real Madrid manager also gave his thoughts on the challenging Group H that included three top teams, stating: “United are one of the top teams. The group was very hard with Paris Saint-Germain and Leipzig. We knew it was not going to be easy for any of them.”
A third place finish in the standings earned United a spot in the Europa League, and a second chance to lift a European trophy this season.
However, the Spurs boss insisted that the teams in the Champions League shouldn’t get opportunity to compete in UEFA’s second-tier competition.
Mourinho acknowledged that the teams from Europe’s top competition add more quality and eyeballs to the Europa League, but added that ‘from the sports point of view it’s not fair that a team that doesn’t succeed in one competition drops to another.’
The 57-year-old has already lifted the trophy in 2017 with Man United, and it’ll be interesting to hear this thoughts again on the matter if Tottenham face his former club in the latter stages of the competition.