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Mourinho on Sanchez: “He went from a fantastic club to a giant”

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No pressure, Alexis.

Jose Mourinho has been waxing lyrical about new signing Alexis Sanchez after his arrival from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan earlier this week.

Speaking ahead of United’s FA Cup trip to fourth-tier Yeovil Town on Friday, Mourinho couldn’t help but have a little pop at Arsenal too as he confirmed Sanchez would be in the squad and could make his debut.

“I think it was a fantastic deal and a fantastic deal is only fantastic if it is good for everybody. United and Arsenal made a fantastic deal, I lost a fantastic player, Mr Wenger lost a fantastic player, Alexis changed from a fantastic club to a giant club and Mkhi changed for a fantastic club, so was a great deal for everybody,” Mourinho said.

You be you, Jose…

On Sanchez, Mourinho rates the Chilean highly and believes that despite question marks over the $500,000 a week contract that gave the forward he is worth every penny.

“We’ve got one of the best attacking players in the world,” Mourinho said. “I think he’ll be very important for us because we want to have the best players possible. Because he has been in England for quite a long time, I think everybody knows the player he is, I think everybody knows what he did at Arsenal. I try not to speak about what he did before in Spain and Italy but in the Premier League he has shown the quality he has.”

As for another attacking player, legitmately one of the greatest the world has ever seen, Mourinho was rather coy when asked if Cristiano Ronaldo could return to United this summer.

Real Madrid’s disappointing domestic season took another turn for the worst on Wednesday as they were knocked out of the Spanish cup by minnows Leganes. Reports have suggested that Real want to offload Ronaldo to kick-start a squad overhaul, while the Portuguese star is also said to want out of the Spanish capital.

“Madrid is on fire – the results are not good,” Mourinho said. “But it’s a club where I worked for three years and I care about the club. I think I should be the last one to add some fuel to the fire. To put some water on the fire, I would say Cristiano is the kind of player that every manager wants, every club wants, but only one manager can have and only one club can have – Zidane and Real Madrid. That’s my feeling.”

So, hardly a “we are not interested” stance from Mourinho there…

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.

Scholes: Pogba didn’t earn Man United spot in 2012 before Juve stint

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Paul Pogba‘s young career has been bright, but a former Manchester United legend suggests that there was a time where the Frenchman struggled to find his way at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup quarters

The 24-year-old Pogba is now in his second stint with the Red Devils, after spending four seasons in Italy with giants Juventus.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes says though that back in 2012 — prior to Pogba’s move to Juve — that the physical player wasn’t pleased with the fact that he wasn’t getting regular minutes with the first team.

“Ferguson wanted me initially to come back and coach the reserve team with Warren Joyce,” he told BT Sport. “I said in September I’d come back. So I started helping Joycey, and I was training with the reserves.

“I was training every day with the likes of Pogba, Lingard, all these types of players. They were a really good side and I was really enjoying training. I was getting fit, I felt great, and it got to December time and the team was struggling a bit.

“They had a load of injuries, no central midfield players were fit. They ended up playing Phil Jones and Fabio da Silva in central midfield in a game against Blackburn at Old Trafford.

“Funnily enough that was the end of Pogba, because he thought he should have been playing instead of them. But he wasn’t doing well enough.”

Scholes, who had retired briefly in 2011, came back after just six months for the Red Devils, and ended up playing a year-and-a-half more following the decision to end his playing career.

It is widely believed that Pogba’s decision to head to Juventus was largely due to the impact of Scholes in the United squad.

Video: Rochdale puts Tottenham on upset alert at the half

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It’s been a tremendous season for Ian Henderson, particularly in the FA Cup, and now he and his side are one half away from upsetting one of the Premier League giants.

Henderson’s finish on the brink of halftime has put League One side Rochdale up 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, as the minnows aim to become the first non-PL side to advance to the quarterfinals in this season’s tournament.

A sloppy giveaway from Spurs near midfield created the attack for the hosts, and allowed Rochdale to capitalize on one of its few attacks during the opening stanza.

Benfica routs Boavista 4-0 to take lead in Portugal

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Benfica routed Boavista 4-0 to move ahead of FC Porto at the top of the Portuguese league on Saturday.

Benfica is one point in front of Porto, which has two games to play.

[ MORE: Man United gets Brighton in FA Cup quarters, Chelsea draws Leicester ]

Ruben Dias opened the scoring for Benfica in the 18th minute when he headed in a pass from Jardel.

Jardel added a goal just before halftime. Boavista’s Nuno Henrique also scored an own goal before Raul Jimenez polished off the victory in the 90th.

Jonas had a penalty saved by Boavista goalkeeper Vagner with the score 0-0.

Porto hosts Rio Ave on Sunday. Sporting Lisbon is three points behind Benfica before visiting Tondela on Monday.