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The special win: Manchester United halt Chelsea title charge but Jose insists it’s not personal

 

By Jim Gracey

Triumphant Jose Mourinho blew the Premier League title race wide open by plotting Manchester United’s emphatic 2-0 Old Trafford win over his old club Chelsea yesterday.

The self-styled Special One stopped short of hailing the victory as the best of his Manchester United reign. And he insisted the only satisfaction he took from reducing Chelsea’s lead over Tottenham to an assailable four points came from boosting his own side’s top four hopes.

Mourinho contended United had played better in a 1-1 home draw with Arsenal and 1-0 win over Tottenham.

But he conceded: “I think it was a special performance because it was a special opponent — the leader.”

Bitterness surrounded Mourinho’s departure from Chelsea and his two defeats by them with United this season.

But asked whether he was happy to just beat Chelsea, Mourinho replied: “The satisfaction is for different reasons. The first is with Liverpool and Manchester City victories this weekend, if we don’t win, goodbye Premier League.

“These three points were phenomenal.

“The second is — they are the leader. When you beat the leader it is obviously a very good feeling.”

Goals from Marcus Rashford, in for the rested Ibrahimovich, and Ander Herrera left Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admitting he now faces an even fight with Spurs for the title after looking nailed on champions a month ago.

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