As soon as the draw was made for the FA Cup semi-finals and Manchester United were paired with Tottenham Hotspur, the inference was made that Tottenham Hotspur would have an advantage.
After all, the semi-final is being played at Wembley, the very ground Tottenham Hotspur have been using as their home ground whilst White Hart Lane is being re-developed into one of the most modern stadia in the world.
However, at his pre-match press conference, Jose Mourinho played down any such suggestion that Tottenham Hotspur will have home advantage, remarking to the assembled hacks and as quoted by the BBC:
“I don’t think it’s an advantage at all. I played one cup final in Roma’s stadium against Roma and I won. I played a cup final in my stadium and I lost. So, I think when you go to these big moments with these big decisions, semi-finals, finals, I don’t think it’s an advantage.
“In some countries even the cup semi-final is played home and away, not in a neutral ground, like in England. That’s just football. I look at this, Tottenham-Manchester United, the same way I look at Huddersfield-Manchester United or Manchester United-Brighton at Old Trafford.
“Sometimes it’s at home, sometimes it’s away. This time it’s away, but I don’t see any advantage. For me it’s the same as playing at Old Trafford.”
Is Jose right or is he just trying to detract from what many perceive as the obvious home advantage Tottenham Hotspur will have?
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