Why is Jose Mourinho being so nice to Rafa Benitez at Newcastle?

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho continued his charm offensive towards old foe Rafa Benitez at Old Trafford.

Mourinho’s expensively-assembled Manchester United side, inspired by fit-again Paul Pogba, came from behind to win 4-1 yesterday.

The Portuguese – who has previously feuded with Benitez – had told of his “huge respect” for Newcastle United’s manager before the game.

Benitez simply stated that Mourinho was a “good manager” in his pre-match press conference.

Newcastle – who took the lead through Dwight Gayle – had the better of the first 30 minutes. And Mourinho didn’t blame his players. He instead blamed “intelligent” Benitez.

“We didn’t start well,” said Mourinho. “But I don’t blame my players. I blame in the positive sense. I blame Benitez.

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

“He’s very experienced, very intelligent.

Their team was very well organised. They started very well, creating us problems. We couldn’t play sometimes in our defensive areas. But the goal was like a wake-up call, and the team reacted very, very, well and very strong.”

Benitez’s response? He pointed to the money spent by Man United – and not Mourinho’s managerial acumen – after the game.

“This time, you see the difference between money spent,” said Benitez. “It’s not something we didn’t know.

"We knew it would make a massive difference.”