Jose Mourinho Jokes About Chelsea Sacking After Leicester vs. Manchester United

Chris LakerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2017

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United gives instructions during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Hull City at Old Trafford on February 1, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho joked about his sacking at Chelsea after guiding the Red Devils to a 3-0 victory over Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Mourinho recalled a 2-1 defeat he suffered to the Foxes on Dec. 14, 2015, which turned out to be his last match in charge of the Blues. 

When questioned by a reporter about his cropped haircut, the Portuguese played along with the lighthearted mood, per Jake Polden of the Mirror.

The reporter asked Mourinho: "We've been here before as well, you've had your hair cut and your team has become more ruthless, it's not a coincidence, is it?"

In response, the United manager said: "And the last time I sat in this chair, the next day, I was sacked!"

HULL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United looks thoughtful during the EFL Cup Semi-Final second leg match between Hull City and Manchester United at KCOM Stadium on January 26, 2017 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/G
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata gave United victory at the King Power Stadium, and the result took their unbeaten league run to 15 matches and closed the gap on fifth-placed Liverpool to one point.

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Per Sky Sports, Mourinho said he believed he was now getting overdue recognition for his playing style in England:

My team is playing very well but for many, many years in my career, especially in this country, when my teams were ruthless and when they were phenomenal defensively and very good in the counter-attack, I listened week after week... it was not enough, in spite of winning the title three times.

It looks like this season, to be phenomenal defensively and be good at counter attack is art, so it's a big change in England.

United's latest three points will raise hopes among their supporters that they can make a late challenge for the Champions League qualification places.

Mourinho has made United a tougher proposition for opponents to break down this season, and the powers-that-be at the club have been pleased with it, according to James Ducker of the Telegraph.

Indeed, they have lost the same amount of league matches as runaway leaders Chelsea, with three, but it's at the attacking end of the field where they have struggled at times to put opposing teams away.

OptaJoe heralded what could be viewed as a breakthrough for United on their current run:

While they were able to cash in against Leicester, there arguably remains a reliance on Ibrahimovic, who has netted 15 times in his debut season in England. Per the official Premier League website, United's next top scorer is Mata, with five.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United scores a goal to make it 0-2 during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Leicester, England. (Photo
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Mourinho's men face a busy fixture list over the next few weeks, and after Saturday's match against Watford at Old Trafford, United will not play in the league again until March 4 due to cup commitments.

There will also be the challenge of European competition for Mourinho to navigate when his side return to Europa League action with a two-legged last 32 encounter with AS Saint-Etienne of Ligue 1.

While United have kept themselves in the frame for a decent league finish, the upcoming period looks set to be a crunch point in their campaign. Much may depend on the continued form and fitness of Ibrahimovic if they are to reward Mourinho with any silverware in his first season at the club.