Inter boss Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United can complete the quintuple this season after his side were beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
United stayed on course for an unprecedented five trophies by overcoming the Italians to reach the Champions League quarter-finals and, Mourinho said he sees no reason why United should not scoop the lot.
”Manchester United have worked together for five consecutive years,” said Mourinho. ”They were a young side then, they are not young anymore. Right now they are at their maximum level. That is why they are European champions. That is why they can win everything.”
“They have basically the same team as when I was at Chelsea. Only Dimitar Berbatov is new.
“United are a quality team and showed against us exactly why they are European champions. You have to say they deserved to win.”
United’s next encounter is with Liverpool in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday. But Ferguson will hope for a better display from his side, who almost threw away last night’s game.
”It was a long European night,” sighed Ferguson. ”I didn’t know if it was a game of football or a game of suicide. We started off very well and once we scored the first goal I thought we would go on and kill them.
”But then we opened the door for them with too many flicks, backheels and passes into space and were lucky to be in front at half-time.”
For Mourinho, it was only a second defeat in 14 confrontations with Ferguson and he was quick to respond to Italian journalists, who claimed he had only been hired to win the Champions League.
”They always like to find their own reasons for football things,” said Mourinho of his critics. ”I prefer to analyse the situation. I can’t speak for the past 50 years. I can only talk about the last four or five.
“You can’t just turn up and expect to win the Champions League just like that,” he commented.
“One way is to spend a huge amount of money, which we know is not realistic in the current climate. The second way is to build a team over the course of time.