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Mourinho faces probe for allegedly punching fan

DETECTIVES are investigating claims that Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho assaulted a fan after his side's Champions League defeat against Manchester United, British police said yesterday.

The fan claimed he was punched in the face outside United's Old Trafford stadium shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

Asked about the allegations, a Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "We had a report of a very minor assault. It's being investigated at the moment."

After the match, Mourinho launched a strident defense of his beaten Inter Milan side.

The Portuguese coach, who had previously lost just once in 13 matches against United while with FC Porto and Chelsea, responded to hostile questions by Italian journalists by insisting he was not accountable to them.

"No one should be negative about my team's display," Mourinho said at the news conference.

"If anyone wants to criticize my team they will have to fight with me. We played a great game."

Even United manager Alex Ferguson acknowledged that his Red Devils rode their luck at times against the Italian champions, losing the ball cheaply, showboating and failing to kill off the match.


Inter strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Adriano hit the goalframe in the visitors' closest chances of the second leg after a scoreless match two weeks ago in San Siro.

"My players did absolutely everything they possibly could do," the Portuguese said. "They should not be criticized or questioned. We played a very good game, we really played to our full potential.

"Nobody can say we didn't do our homework ... We watched 50 DVDs of what Vidic does at corners and still he scored," the Portuguese snapped back when asked about how the Serb defender had been unmarked to score in the fourth minute.

Asked why Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of Inter's best headers of a ball, had not been assigned to mark Vidic, Mourinho said: "Because he was marking Ronaldo, he couldn't be in two places at the same time."

Mourinho said an Inter side that hasn't reached the quarterfinals since 2006 can't expect to suddenly win a third European Cup.

"You can't just turn up and expect to win the Champions League just like that. One way is to put together a team with a huge amount of money that is not around any longer and buy superstars, the second way is to build a team that matures over the course of time.

Mourinho expects to end his debut season with a Serie A title, with Inter enjoying a seven-point lead over Juventus.


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