By Tim Stannard
Mourinho plots ultimate insult to media in Champions League assault
If you are looking for a reason to root against Manchester United in Tuesday's Champions League clash against Sevilla, then simply think of what Jose Mourinho will be like if he eventually wins the tournament with the Red Devils.
Contemplate the slurs against his coaching reputation from journalists and pundits over the past 12 months, the sleights over his parking-the-bus ways, turning attacking-monsters into defenders, not knowing what to do with Paul Pogba.
It's winner takes all at Old Trafford later tonight!— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 13, 2018
Take all this and imagine the passive-aggressive shrugging and smirking that will be part and parcel of the Jose Mourinho psychological landscape for the rest of the time. That 'I don't care what you all think, but really I do' vibe.
Anyway. Old Trafford will be the venue of Tuesday’s second-leg, Last 16 clash against Sevilla with the ties at 0-0. And with United in fine form after a weekend win against Liverpool and Sevilla largely sucking this season, expect the first step in a path of a dystopian future to take place in Manchester. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
And if you are lucky enough to live in the fine nation of Canada then don't be too afraid so that you don't tune in to beIN SPORTS from 3:45PM ET / 12:45PM PT for Manchester United against Sevilla.
Roma look to reverse Champions League tide
Tuesday's second clash has Roma hosting Shakhtar Donetsk in the official battle of two teams where everyone else left in the Champions League would like to play the winner but won’t admit it. The Serie A side has a little bit of work to do after falling to a 2-1 defeat in the Ukraine. But Roma have been in decent form of late with five wins from six in the Italian league.
Monchi: “The city and its team. Both deserve to be considered among the very best. The city is already there, now it's up to the team. Together we will try to do it!” https://t.co/KZ46TDTmsi— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) March 12, 2018
Working against Roma in the optimism stakes is the fact that the team has only won three of its past ten home games in the Champions League whereas Shakhtar are in sprightly form having won their last four league encounters, scoring 16 in the process without reply.
Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for a review of the best of the action with the dream team of Carlos Ruiz and Ray Hudson and a look ahead to Wednesday’s games including Barcelona taking on Chelsea.
More from the Donnarumma rumor room
Right. Pepe Reina’s reported medical with Milan on Monday sees Gianluigi Donnarumma almost certainly leaving the club after a breakdown in a relationship between the young goalkeeper and everyone at the club who wears a suit every day. Or does it? The keeper says that “I’m calm and happy, I go forward with serenity,” with a slight air of smugness.
On a managerial transfer bent, Mark Hughes is the lead candidate to take over the freshly vacant coaching role at Premier League side Southampton after Mauricio Pellegrino was fired late on Monday having lead his team splendidly into a relegation battle.
Pointless Southampton firing their manager at this stage of the season when neither Pulis nor Allardyce are out of work.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 12, 2018
Serena admits challenges ahead after sister act defeat
Well, at least there will be one Williams in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells after the two sisters battled it out on Monday night. That Williams will be Venus after a 6-3, 6-4 win over Serena who admitted after the defeat that there was "a long way to go" in her recovery from giving birth in September. Venus Williams will be in action again on Tuesday against Anastasija Sevastova.
Another classic of the game moved through to the next round after Roger Federer cruised against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic with a 6-2, 6-1 win. The American pair of Jack Sock and Sam Querrey are set to take to the court on Tuesday in their respective third round matches.
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