Mourinho backing Benfica against Man Utd

December 4, 2006

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho admits he will be rooting for Benfica to overcome Manchester United in their Champions League Group F clash.

United need a point to ensure they reach the knockout stage of the tournament but Mourinho warned Sir Alex Ferguson and his men that Benfica are capable of winning at Old Trafford.

And in a veiled dig at Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, Mourinho said it would not be so easy for him to 'get one of his penalties'.

Ronaldo was at the centre of more controversy at the weekend when he earned United a penalty in their victory over Middlesbrough even though replays clearly showed there had been no contact between him and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.

Mourinho's Porto side knocked United out of the competition at the last-16 stage two years ago when Costinha's last-minute goal gave them a 3-2 aggregate success.

Now Mourinho believes Benfica can deliver a similar knockout blow to United.

Mourinho said: 'Benfica is a team that when you watch them you don't know what is going to happen.

'The last game they were magnificent against Sporting Lisbon. They beat them 2-0 away and played very well. Players were performing at the highest level and the team looked very solid.

'If they go to Manchester and play at their highest level they can do it. Of course, it is not easy, but they can do it.

'They know Ronaldo well and how to deal with him. So it won't be easy for him to get one of his penalties. Benfica have got a chance.

'I will be rooting for them for sure, if I didn't I could not go home.'