Jose Mourinho's 10 most Jose Mourinho victories of all time – ranked

Tom Gott
Jose Mourinho knows how to win ugly
Jose Mourinho knows how to win ugly / Julian Finney/Getty Images

When you hear the phrase 'a Jose Mourinho masterclass', you know exactly what it means.

The Tottenham Hotspur boss has made a career out of out-thinking his opponents and picking up victories against Europe's elite by setting his side up to absorb pressure and punish on the counter. When it comes to winning ugly, no manager does it quite like him.

His portfolio is full of these type of victories, but here are some of the very best.

10. Tottenham 2-0 Man City (February 2, 2020)

Steven Bergwijn scored on his Spurs debut
Steven Bergwijn scored on his Spurs debut / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

On paper, Tottenham's win over Manchester City in February 2020 looks genius. Spurs scored from their first shot on target after 63 minutes and frustrated City so much that left-back Oleksandr Zinchencko earned himself a red card.

A deeper dive will show that Mourinho's men were perhaps a little fortunate to get away with all three points, with this victory coming courtesy of City's sloppy showing in front of goal more than anything. Only five of their 18 shots were on target.

Spurs needed some luck, but they made their own good fortune with a stubborn showing that put City out of their comfort zone.

9. Deportivo 0-1 Porto (May 4, 2004)

Porto frustrated Deportivo
Porto frustrated Deportivo / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Back in Mourinho's final season with Porto, he preferred a more attacking style of play, but had to re-think his system in the Champions League semi-final when he met a Deportivo La Coruna side who had already eliminated both Juventus and AC Milan, putting four goals past the latter.

The first leg was a 0-0 draw, with Deportivo camping deep and frustrating Porto, but when Mourinho took his side to Spain for the return leg, he gave Deportivo a taste of their own medicine.

With a high, aggressive defensive line, Porto stifled Deportivo's creativity before they could even start threatening, and a second-half penalty from Derlei was enough to inspire Porto to victory.

8. Man Utd 1-1 Porto (March 9, 2004)

This was Mourinho's breakout game
This was Mourinho's breakout game / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It was a similar story for Porto in the last 16, but this time, when Mourinho's side travelled to Old Trafford for the second leg against Manchester United, they actually had a lead to defend.

While their 2-1 win from the first meeting was earned through attacking endeavour, there was nothing attractive about the 1-1 draw between the two sides in March 2004.

Against a side which featured Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (among others), Mourinho's Porto sat deep and snatched a scrappy 90th-minute equaliser, which was enough to advance on aggregate.

7. Tottenham 2-0 Man City (November 21, 2020)

Mourinho's reaction said it all
Mourinho's reaction said it all / Pool/Getty Images

In late 2020, beating Guardiola's City isn't as crazy as it once was, but the sheer efficiency of Tottenham's 2-0 win made thing a real spectacle.

With their first shot after five minutes, Spurs went ahead. 60 minutes later, they had their second shot, and they scored their second goal.

Guardiola's side had 66% possession and ended with 22 shots, but simply could not find a way past Spurs, who had been set up to absorb and neutralise any threat which came their way.

6. Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid (April 20, 2011)

Ronaldo's goal decided things
Ronaldo's goal decided things / DANI POZO/Getty Images

In his first season as Real Madrid manager, Mourinho made it all the way to the Copa del Rey final, where his side would face arch rivals Barcelona for the trophy.

Pep Guardiola's men would go on to win the league title and thump United in the Champions League final, but they had no such luck against a Real side who hounded Lionel Messi, Xavi and the rest of Barca's superstar cast all night long.

Mourinho's side picked up five yellow cards (two of which went to Angel Di Maria) as a reward for their scrappy approach to the game, and Ronaldo's header in the 103rd minute ultimately brought the trophy to the Santiago Bernabeu.

5. Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid (April 21, 2012)

Real didn't let Barca breathe
Real didn't let Barca breathe / Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Defending league champions Barcelona's run of 55 games at Camp Nou without defeat came to an end as Mourinho's Real picked up what was effectively a title-winning victory in April 2012.

Having just lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich a few days earlier, Mourinho resisted the urge to change and chose the same lineup, and it proved to be a masterstroke as they made Barcelona wait until the 70th minute for their first shot on target.

A 17th-minute goal from Sami Khedira gave Real something to defend, and after Alexis Sanchez equalised midway through the second half, Ronaldo went down the other end and bagged the winner three minutes later.

4. Man City 0-1 Chelsea (February 3, 2014)

Chelsea got everything right
Chelsea got everything right / ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

When Chelsea travelled to the Etihad in early 2014, City were on a run of 11 straight home wins, had not lost any of their last 12 fixtures and had not failed to score at home in the best part of four years. Can you guess what happened next?

Mourinho didn't exactly park the bus, but his Blues were all about the counter as they made a mockery of City's attack-first mentality. Every time City came forward, they hit and wall and were then fighting for their lives on the way back.

Branislav Ivanovic netted the only goal of the game, but Chelsea hit the woodwork three times and could have easily had four or five goals.

3. Barcelona 1-0 Inter (April 28, 2010)

Mourinho's sprint on the pitch will never be forgotten
Mourinho's sprint on the pitch will never be forgotten / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/Getty Images

Sure, Mourinho's Inter may have actually come out on the losing end here, but since the result was enough to guide them past Barcelona and into the Champions League final. On that basis, it deserves a place on this list.

One of the boss' attack-minded masterclasses had inspired a 3-1 win in the first leg, but he went with a defence-first approach at Camp Nou in order to protect his lead.

The games started before the match had even kicked off. Forward Goran Pandev was supposed to start, but he was swapped out during the warm-up, with Mourinho claiming an injury was behind the decision. His replacement? Defender Christian Chivu. Make of that what you will.

Inter's desire to sit back was amplified by Thiago Motta's controversial 28th-minute red card, and clearly unimpressed with Barca's gamesmanship, Inter began doing all they could to frustrate the hosts.

Gerard Pique did grab a goal after 83 minutes, but Mourinho's side had already done enough to get through on aggregate.

2. Man Utd 2-0 Chelsea (April 16, 2017)

This was The Herrera Show
This was The Herrera Show / Michael Regan/Getty Images

United's 2-0 win over former employers Chelsea couldn't have gone more perfect for Mourinho, who stopped the Blues from even mustering a shot on target.

The Red Devils' defending was good, but the real key to this one was Mourinho's decision to use Ander Herrera to man-mark Eden Hazard out of the game.

The Spaniard suffocated Hazard all night long, and Herrera even walked away with a goal and assist when all was said and done. It was sublime.

1. Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea (April 27, 2014)

Gerrard's slip still makes headlines
Gerrard's slip still makes headlines / Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

Perhaps the most famous masterclass on Mourinho's CV, it seemed like the boss wasn't even bothered about winning when he took Chelsea to Anfield in April 2014.

He used the game as more of a protest towards the Blues' busy schedule. Petr Cech, Eden Hazard and John Terry were all left out of the squad to face Liverpool, with the likes of Mark Schwarzer, a then-bad Mohamed Salah and the debuting Tomas Kalas brought in instead.

It felt like Mourinho didn't even care about the result, but his side's performance proved otherwise. Title-chasers Liverpool had 77% possession and 26 shots, but one slip from Steven Gerrard and a late counter had Chelsea celebrating a 2-0 victory.

Never has Mourinho been less entitled to win a game, and yet somehow he managed to pick up the points.

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