I cannot do what Man City did at Chelsea - Mourinho withering over FA Cup schedule


Jose Mourinho has criticised the scheduling of Manchester United's FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea - taking a swipe at Manchester City in the process.

United overcame Saint-Etienne 1-0 thanks to a Henrikh Mkhitaryan goal at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Wednesday, securing a 4-0 aggregate win and a place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Mourinho's EFL Cup finalists remain in the hunt for honours across three knockout competitions, although their FA Cup trip to Stamford Bridge has been moved to Monday, March 13 for television coverage - the same week United are due to play the second leg of their next Europa League assignment.

"I feel really surprised that the decision is made before our draw in Europe," he told a post-match news conference. "Because at the moment nobody knows who we play against, nobody knows where the first match is and where the second match is.

"Imagine we play Chelsea on the Monday and then we have to go to a second match in Europe in Russia, in Turkey, in Greece.

"So I think once more I think their [broadcasters'] interests go in front of the clubs and English football interests. Nobody cares about it."

Last season, Manchester City were landed in a similar predicament as they travelled to Dynamo Kiev for a Champions League tie three days after an FA Cup clash at Chelsea in round five that was re-arranged for television.

Then City boss Manuel Pellegrini opted to field a starting XI featuring six teenagers and five full debutants at Stamford Bridge, with the visitors promptly dispatched 5-1, although a 3-1 win in Kiev followed.

With words that are sure to resonate across the Manchester divide, Mourinho dismissed taking a similar course of action out of hand.

"I cannot play against Chelsea with under-21s like Manchester City did last year," he said. "We are Manchester United, I cannot do that.

"I cannot do that as Manchester United manager, I cannot do that to the FA Cup because the FA Cup is not guilty of these decisions. The FA Cup is beautiful, the competition is historical.

"I have to treat Manchester United supporters and the FA Cup in the right way. I cannot go there with the under-21s. Probably they [broadcasters] deserve it but I won't do that."