On Tuesday morning Manchester United announced that they would be parting company with manager Jose Mourinho after “The Special One” spent three years at Old Trafford.
Mourinho has come under intense scrutiny following one of the worst starts to a season at Old Trafford in recent memory, with the 20-time champions sitting sixth in the table and a substantial distance away from the top four.
United’s disappointing season came to a head on Sunday as they were comfortably defeated by rivals Liverpool at Anfield, with the home side racking up 36 shots against their struggling visitors.
Despite the intense rivalry between the two sides, which has been one of the Premier League’s fiercest over the last couple of decades, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for his now departed rival calling Mourinho “an outstanding manager”
“He is a competitive guy, very ambitious. I can imagine the last few months were not a joy. It is not nice to face all those questions.
“But nobody can take away all the things he has won. I hope he has that on his mind as he leaves.
“He is an outstanding manager.”
Mourinho departs Old Trafford amidst a season littered with difficult results and rumoured falling outs with a host of high profile players, most notably, Paul Pogba whom he left on the bench for the entirety of their defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
For Manchester United attention must now turn to who Mourinho’s replacement will be with the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Laurent Blanc being tipped to take over, at least for now, on a caretaker basis.
Mourinho wasn’t the only topic on Klopp’s agenda at his press conference as the Liverpool manager spoke about the two-horse title race that is starting to unfold between his side and Manchester City.
“Only City can stop City. We just have to play our own game,
“Manchester City is January 3. “here is nothing to think about yet. I am sure Pep (Guardiola) isn’t thinking about us for one second in this moment.”