Jose Mourinho’s last six UCL first legs – & what happened next
April 3, 2013. It feels like a very long time ago, but it turns out that’s the last time Jose Mourinho tasted success in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie.
His Real Madrid side was comfortable that evening, beating Galatasaray 3-0 at the Bernabeu, and made it through to the semi-finals despite a bit of a scare in what ended up as a 3-2 second leg defeat.
Playing the first leg away from home is often seen as a benefit for clubs in Europe. However, Mourinho is the exception. His last six Champions League first legs haven’t brought a single victory for his teams, and he often didn’t even do enough to set up a second leg victory.
12-13: Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid
After seeing off Gala, Mourinho’s Madrid just needed to see off Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund to earn a spot in the final.
The German side had needed a last-minute winner to edge past Malaga in the quarter-finals, but swatted Madrid away thanks to four goals from Robert Lewandowski in one of the best individual European performances we can remember.
Mourinho’s squad took their time in the return leg, too, with the game goalless going into the final 10 minutes. They found two late goals, but that wasn’t enough.
Lewandowski's four-goal performance against Real Madrid in 2013 😍😍😍
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 21, 2019
13-14: Galatasaray 1-1 Chelsea
Perhaps still feeling the sting of that trip to Dortmund, Mourinho didn’t go all out when taking his Chelsea side to Istanbul in 2014.
Fernando Torres gave the Blues an early lead but the floodgates didn’t open against a side which picked up just seven group stage points, and Aurelien Chedjou equalised in the 64th minute.
Chelsea were the only English side to avoid a first-leg defeat in the last 16, and it proved vital in the long run: Samuel Eto’o struck early in the second leg and Gary Cahill made the result safe just before half-time at Stamford Bridge.
13-14: Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Chelsea
So, after keeping it tight in Turkey, was it more of the same against PSG? Not quite.
Ezequiel Lavezzi and Eden Hazard exchanged first-half goals at the Parc des Princes and things looked to be going according to plan, but David Luiz started a panic with an own goal just after the hour mark and Javier Pastore scored what looked like being a crucial third for PSG in stoppage time.
That’s not how it panned out, though: Andre Schurrle gave the hosts hope in the second leg back in London and then, just a few weeks before he’d break Liverpool hearts, Demba Ba delivered a late goal to see the Blues through on away goals.
Chelsea 2-0 PSG. Demba Ba’s 87th minute goal sent Chelsea through on away goals. pic.twitter.com/IkKJpkIcKq
— FootballClassics. (@FootbaIlClassic) July 9, 2018
13-14: Atletico Madrid 0-0 Chelsea
A third knockout game in 2013-14. A third away game in the first leg. A third failure to take a lead back to Stamford Bridge.
Atletico Madrid had conceded just five goals in 10 group and knockout games, so a goalless draw at the Calderon must have felt like a decent result.
It will have felt even better when Torres put Chelsea ahead at home, but Adrian’s goal just before half-time put the ball back in the Spaniards’ court. Diego Costa’s penalty, a second away goal of the tie, meant Chelsea were all but out even before Arda Turan clinched Atleti’s spot in the final.
14-15: Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Chelsea
Mourinho did altogether better in their second trip to Paris, during a season which ended with the Blues winning the Premier League.
Branislav Ivanovic’s first-half opener was cancelled out by Edinson Cavani after the break, but Mourinho’s side received praise for dealing with their French opponents’ attacking threat and earning a good draw.
There were plenty of occasions in the second leg where it looked as though the Portuguese had worked his magic again.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off in the first half and 80 goalless minutes passed before Cahill opened the scoring, only for David Luiz to bag an equaliser six minutes later and take the game to extra-time.
Hazard again put Chelsea ahead and seeming destined for the quarter-finals, but in the 114th minute, Thiago Silva popped up with a second equaliser to put the Parisiens through on away goals.
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17-18: Sevilla 0-0 Man Utd
After a successful 2016-17 Europa League run, it would have been tempting for Mourinho to go out all guns blazing in the following year’s Champions League last 16.
This is Jose Mourinho, though, so obviously his Manchester United team played out a goalless draw in which, according to the BBC, they “offered little offensively” against a team which had conceded 12 goals in six group games.
As you probably remember, Wissam Ben Yedder came off the bench to score twice and send United packing in a 2-1 win for Sevilla at Old Trafford.
One year later, as the Manchester club prepared for the Champions League knockout stages, Mourinho had already been sent on his way.