Mourinho defends players attitude despite Champions League defeat

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Progress may be being made by Mourinho but it is mid-March and his team are out of the race for the Premier League title, where they trail Manchester City by 16 points, and of Europe.

Including the 2011 final, Manchester United have only won one of their last nine Champions League knockout games.

It was a disjointed display lacking conviction at times and strikingly different from the combative performance shown against Liverpool.

Lukaku volleyed home from close range after Juan Mata had flicked on a corner in the 84th minute but there was to be no comeback for United and the visitors could have added more. Once Sevilla had weathered the early pressure, they began to look at home in Old Trafford, creating chances of their own.

The Portuguese tactician offered a weird explanation of his team's Champions League elimination during his post-match conference to already baffled set of Man United supporters.

So I don't think it's something new for the club.

"I am not going to make a drama of it - we have a match on Saturday". "We had a big game. against Liverpool and we came with high confidence to play this game, but Sevilla were better than us, so they deserved it".

Manchester United went down to their Spanish opponents courtesy of a brace from Wassin Ben Yeddar which secured a quarter-final place for Sevilla for the first time since 1958.

Losing at the last-16 stage "is not something new" for his side, he admitted. "That's football, it's not the end of the world", Mourinho said.

If Mourinho and the players both performed to their maximum capacity, is he suggesting that Sevilla (currently 5th in La Liga with 11 losses and a goal difference of -6) are simply a better side than United?

"Life goes on and this is football, we have to accept that".

What was the reason for starting Marouane Fellaini? The willingness to accommodate Alexis Sanchez, subdued for the majority, is also a growing issue.

United's attention now turns to Saturday's FA Cup sixth-round tie against Brighton & Hove Albion and the only realistic chance of winning a trophy this campaign.