MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Jose Mourinho the head coach / manager of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

12 Times Jose Mourinho Used Stats to Prove a Point Despite Openly Hating Stats

Another day, another bizarre Jose Mourinho statement.

After Manchester United's 3-1 loss to rivals Manchester City on Sunday, Mourinho was informed by Sky Sports that Anthony Martial's penalty was United's only shot on target during the match. However, he was in no mood to entertain the numbers, insisting only 'people that don't understand football' rely on statistics to analyse a game. 

Really? Is that so?

Here are 12 times Jose Mourinho has relied on statistics to his favour in the past.

12. Defending Marcus Rashford

Back in September, Mourinho faced a huge amount of criticism for his perceived lack of trust in Marcus Rashford, with Jamie Carragher even admitting to Sky Sports that Rashford may need to leave the club.

Mourinho arrived at a press conference armed with statistic after statistic to support his use of the youngster. His rant lasted around three minutes, during which Mourinho clarified that Rashford had featured for 5,744 minutes since he arrived at the club, which worked out as 63.7 lots of 90 minutes.

It certainly helped prove his point about Rashford, but this was just two months before Mourinho claimed that statistics are for people who do not understand football. 

11. Defending United's Champions League Exit

Following United's Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla in March, Mourinho claimed that fans could not expect better of him, given the situation when he arrived at the club.

He referred to it as 'football heritage' - United had not reached a Champions League final since 2011. Mourinho reminded fans that, in the following years, they had regularly fallen at the group stage, with their longest run in the tournament in the last seven years only reaching the quarter-finals in 2014.

His powerful (if odd) speech lasted around 12 minutes, with Mourinho even stating 'those stats are real.'

10. Defending His Tactics

In 2016, United travelled to Anfield and earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Liverpool. Many fans blamed Mourinho's negative approach to the game for the lacklustre encounter, but Mourinho hit back.

During his post-match press conference, Mourinho insisted that Liverpool should be blamed, using their disappointing statistics from the match as evidence.

According to The Telegraph, Mourinho said: “Last season United won here and Liverpool had 14 shots and United had one. Today Liverpool two shots? With 65 per cent of possession you have to be critical of Liverpool not us."

However, he was not done...

9. Defending His Team's Possession

The same Anfield press conference came to an end and Mourinho, only to return a few moments later to claim that the possession statistics were a lie.

He said: “I’ve just been told it was not 35 per cent. It was 42 per cent. That is from our guy." 

For somebody who cares so little for statistics, Mourinho clearly cared enough to return and defend his team's numbers.

8. Defending Eden Hazard

During his tumultuous final season with Chelsea, Mourinho experimented with moving Eden Hazard to striker, and the Belgian impressed during a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Mourinho made a point of telling Hazard how impressed he was, with the coaching staff compiling a dossier of all the positives from the match. He revealed in an interview with The Guardian that this file contained: "my own assessment; my vision for him; numbers, figures, stats, graphics on every aspect of his game."

Including statistics of Hazard's performance was clearly important for Mourinho, who acknowledged that knowing statistics could help the winger improve.

7. Defending Liverpool's Title Chances

Back in 2013, Mourinho admitted that Liverpool had a great chance of winning the Premier League title that season. His evidence? Statistics.

He first explained (via Speaking The Daily Mail) that Chelsea, as a result of their Europa League commitments, would play around 60 matches, whilst Liverpool would face just 40. He hinted that Liverpool would have an improved chance of winning as a result of their quiet schedule.

Mourinho then admitted that having a top striker like Luis Suarez would give any team an advantage, confessing that Chelsea lacked a striker with 'fantastic numbers'.

6. Defending Manchester United's 'Treble'

In May 2017, United defeated Ajax to win the Europa League, adding that trophy to the EFL Cup and Community Shield in that season's trophy cabinet.

During the Europa League trophy ceremony, Mourinho was seen instructing his players to hold up three fingers to the camera, to emphasise that they had won three trophies. It was referred to by fans as 'the treble' - a term which is usually reserved for a league title, domestic success and Champions League glory.

'Three' was clearly a magic number for Mourinho, and we would see that gesture several times more going forward...

5. Defending His Premier League Triumphs

Mourinho has not had a great relationship with Chelsea fans since he moved to Manchester, and this was incredibly evident during the 2-2 draw between the two sides in October.

Chelsea fans made their feelings towards Mourinho known with a series of expletive-laden chants, but Mourinho responded by holding three fingers in the air in a reference to the three Premier League titles he won during his time at Stamford Bridge - a gesture which he had also made during a previous clash with Chelsea.

He was seemingly happy to use his successful statistics as ammunition against Chelsea, and this was not the last time this happened.

4. Defending His Serie A Treble

A matter of days later, Juventus travelled to Old Trafford in the Champions League and the Italian fans subjected Mourinho to similar treatment after Juventus took the lead.

Mourinho clearly had not won over the Juventus fans during his time in charge of Serie A rivals Inter, so he once again chose to react by holding three fingers up in the air, but this time referencing the treble which he won with Inter in 2010.

There must be something about the number 'three' which Mourinho loves.

3. Defending His Premier League Record

Mourinho suffered his heaviest home defeat in August when Tottenham Hotspur secured a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford in August, and Mourinho was clearly not in the mood to entertain criticism from the media.

According to The Independent, one reporter highlighted the fact that many United fans left the match early, which proved to be the final straw for Mourinho. He demanded respect from journalists, before referencing his Premier League successes in the past.

He said: "Just to finish. Do you know what was the result? 3-0. Do you know what this means? 3-0, but also means three Premierships and I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together. Three for me, two for them. Respect, man. Respect, respect."

2. Defending His Team's Chance Creation

After a 2-2 draw with Burnley in December 2017, Mourinho insisted to Sky Sports that his team were playing better than the results suggested, using statistics as his proof.

He first criticised the fact that Burnley had scored with 'one-and-a-half shots', before suggesting that other teams were getting lucky against his defence, whilst his attackers were not.

He said: "In the last two matches we had a minimum 12 goals [chances] to score, and I don't remember Leicester missing a chance, I don't remember Burnley missing a chance, I don't remember Leicester or Burnley crossing the midfield line in the second half."

1. Defending His Son

Mourinho may well believe that many journalists use statistics to cover up their lack of understanding of football, but how about his own son?

Back in April, Mourinho admitted that he had taken some advice from his son, claiming that Jose Junior could soon become a coach at the club. 

He said: "We had lost to ​Watford and ​Manchester City, I think, and he came with the stats of the team. I showed them to my assistants and I told them, ‘Be careful as one day this boy will take one of your places’."

Poor kid.