Jose Mourinho bemoaned the chasm between his Manchester United side and Juventus as the Italian champions won 1-0 on Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Ronaldo did not get on the scoresheet, but played a supporting role by helping set up Paulo Dybala’s winner on 17 minutes as Juventus opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H.
Only a series of excellent saves from David de Gea prevented the margin of defeat being far greater for the hosts as any momentum United gained from fightbacks against Newcastle and Chelsea in recent weeks in the Premier League faded away against one of the favourites to win the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho’s men were handed a break before kick-off as Valencia’s 1-1 draw away to Young Boys means United still hold a two-point lead over the Spaniards, but a fourth defeat of the season will see speculation over Mourinho’s future increase once more.
And in keeping with his complaints all season, Mourinho suggested United need to invest more in the transfer market to get to Juventus’ level.
Juventus spent 112 million euros ($129 million) for a 33-year-old Ronaldo in July and also brought Leonardo Bonucci back just a year after selling the Italian international to AC Milan.
“Mr. Bonucci, Mr. (Giorgio) Chiellini, they could go to Harvard to give some classes about how to be a central defender,” said Mourinho, whose attempts to add a centre-back in the summer were thwarted.
“Juventus is champions for seven years in a row, two Champions League finals in the last four or five years and they are not happy with what they have, they want more. They had (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Mario) Manduzkic and Dybala, but they want more, they want Ronaldo,” he added.
“They go for the best players in the world. A big club with a big past but also a big desire to have a big future.”