Jose Mourinho’s impressive cup final record

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‘Finals are not for playing, they are for winning’

Jose Mourinho will look to build on his impressive cup final record when Manchester United face Southampton in the EFL Cup showpiece on Sunday.

The 54-year-old has won 10 out of 12 cup finals since 2003 – a feat which has seen him pick up silverware at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

And with eight league titles and five Community Shield/Super Cup victories to his name, Mourinho boasts a career haul of 23 trophies ahead of the EFL Cup final.

From European success to a perfect record in England, we take a look at how Mourinho has won 83 per cent of the finals he has managed…

Mourinho’s record in cup finals

Club Opponent Cup Season Result
FC Porto Celtic UEFA Cup 2002/03 W 3-2
FC Porto Leiria Taça de Portugal 2002/03 W 1-0
FC Porto Benfica Taça de Portugal 2003/04 L 1-2 (AET)
FC Porto Monaco UCL 2003/04 W 3-0
Chelsea Liverpool League Cup 2004/05 W 3-2
Chelsea Arsenal League Cup 2006/07 W 2-1
Chelsea Man Utd FA Cup 2006/07 W 1-0
Inter Milan Roma Coppa Italia 2009/10 W 1-0
Inter Milan Bayern Munich UCL 2009/10 W 2-0
Real Madrid Barcelona Copa del Rey 2010/11 W 1-0
Real Madrid Atletico Madrid Copa del Rey 2012/13 L 1-2 (AET)
Chelsea Tottenham League Cup 2014/15 W 2-0

Unbeaten in 90 minutes

Mourinho has never lost a final in normal time.

His two losses have only come in extra time – firstly in a 2-1 defeat to Benfica in the 2003 Taça de Portugal final, and more recently a Copa del Rey defeat to Atletico Madrid in 2013.

In total, six of Mourinho’s 12 cup finals have gone into extra time, but having won four of those, it means the task remains just as daunting for Southampton should the tie go beyond the regulation 90.

Mourinho has been taken to extra time on six occasions in finals - winning four and losing two
Mourinho has been taken to extra time on six occasions in finals – winning four and losing two

Perfect record in England

Four finals, four victories for Mourinho in England – a stat Manchester United fans will soon want to read as five in five.

Mourinho’s first English trophy came in 2005, with Mateja Kezman’s 112th-minute winner handing Chelsea a 3-2 victory over Liverpool after a Steven Gerrard own goal took the game to extra-time.

Mourinho in English cup finals

Team Opponent Cup Season Result
Chelsea Liverpool League Cup 2004/05 W 3-2 (AET)
Chelsea Arsenal League Cup 2006/07 W 2-1
Chelsea Man Utd FA Cup 2006/07 W 1-0 (AET)
Chelsea Tottenham League Cup 2014/15 W 2-0
Man Utd Southampton League Cup 2016/17 ?

Two more domestic cups followed in 2007 – a feisty 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup final in February and a 1-0 FA Cup victory over Manchester United three months later.

The run continued into Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea, as a 2-0 win at the expense of Tottenham handed him a third League Cup trophy. Victory on Sunday would see him equal Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough’s record of four.

Jose Mourinho could match Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough's record of four League Cups with victory on Sunday
Jose Mourinho could match Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough’s record of four League Cups with victory on Sunday

European success

Mourinho has won three continental trophies, including two Champions Leagues and, despite failing to win Europe’s greatest prize with Chelsea or Real Madrid, he boasts a perfect record in European finals.

The first trophy to make its way into Mourinho’s cabinet was the UEFA Cup.

Mourinho following his Champions League triumph with Porto in 2004
Mourinho following his Champions League triumph with Porto in 2004

Henrik Larsson’s double for Martin O’Neill’s Celtic was not enough in the 2003 final in Seville, with Derlei’s extra-time winner handing Porto a 3-2 victory.

Porto went on to shock the continent by lifting the Champions League a year later, knocking out Manchester United 3-2 on aggregate in the last 16 before completing a resounding 3-0 victory over Monaco in the final.

A move to Chelsea came just one week after this European success for Mourinho, and it was a similar story six years later as he took the helm at Real just days after guiding Inter to Champions League glory, which had handed the Italians an unprecedented treble.

The case for defence

“Finals are not for playing, they are for winning,” said Mourinho, after his most recent EFL Cup triumph in 2015 – and it’s a mantra which has guided the manager to near-unrivalled success.

With just nine goals conceded in 12 finals – including seven clean sheets – Mourinho’s defensive-minded approach has ultimately reaped the rewards.

Didier Drogba scored the winner in the 2007 FA Cup final to help Chelsea edge past Manchester United 1-0
Didier Drogba scored the winner in the 2007 FA Cup final to help Chelsea edge past Manchester United 1-0

Coupled with the six finals that have gone to extra time, it’s clear to see that Mourinho is content with grinding out a victory as opposed to going on the attack – just three of these final wins have come with a margin greater than one goal.

Four 1-0 victories also typifies Mourinho’s style which is seen in many of the big games, based around a sturdiness in defence and patience in attack.

Claude Puel will have to find a way through if he’s to end Mourinho’s remarkable record in finals in England.