Mourinho releases his bottled-up emotions as United escape

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho flings a basket of water bottles to the ground in visible relief at Marouane Fellaini's injury-time winner against Swiss side Young Boys in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Group H match at Old Trafford, Manchester on Tuesday.

Marouane Fellaini scored an injury-time winner to send Manchester United into the knockout stage of the Champions League-and prompt a bizarre touchline celebration from manager Jose Mourinho.

After Fellaini sent a shot on the turn into the bottom corner to secure a 1-0 win over Young Boys at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Mourinho let out a guttural roar as he picked up a basket of water bottles and threw them forcefully to the ground in his technical area.

Mourinho hugged Fellaini as the Belgium midfielder walked off the field after the game. Fellaini might split opinion among fans-United tends to adopt a direct, longball approach when he is on the pitch-but he remains a firm favorite of his coach and a go-to player for his teammates in the latter stages of matches.

Without Fellaini's goal, United would have faced a tricky trip to Valencia on the final match day in a bid to seal qualification.

Instead, the English club advanced from Group H along with Juventus, which stayed in first place thanks to a 1-0 win over Valencia.

And Mourinho certainly enjoyed it.

"For some of my lovers," he said, "I just want to say for the ones that like statistics: 14 seasons in the Champions League, 14 times qualify through the group phases.

"The season I didn't play Champions League, I won the Europa League.

"So just curiosity for my lovers and the lovers of the stats."

This, however, was another underwhelming display against a team United swatted aside 3-0 in Switzerland.

Indeed, United needed a superb reflex save from goalkeeper David de Gea, who clawed away Ulisses Garcia's deflected shot, to keep the home side level heading into the final 20 minutes.

De Gea 'the best'

"It looks a phenomenal save," Mourinho said, "a save the best goalkeeper in the world does, and gives his team the possibility to win the match.

"He is the best goalkeeper in the world. If our ambitions are to have the best in the world, we have to keep him," Mourinho said of the Spaniard, who has been at the center of a drawnout contract saga at United and has been repeatedly linked with a move to Real Madrid.

"I know he wants to stay, I know his agent (Jorge Mendes) is happy to do what the player wants and I also know the board want him to stay and they are working on that so hopefully sooner or later they reach a conclusion."

De Gea's deal is set to expire at the end of the season and United has been negotiating with him over a new one and also has an option to extend for another year.

Mourinho talked up the significance and difficulty of this match against the runaway leader of the Swiss league, yet decided to drop his two most-expensive signings-Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba, worth a combined $210 million-in something of a statement following a lackluster 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford started as the lone striker in place of Lukaku, and caused Young Boys constant problems in the first half with his pace and movement. The 21-year-old Rashford lacked an end product, though, wasting three good chances to let the Bern-based team off the hook.

Mourinho, who has been publicly critical of his young players in recent days, responded by turning his back to the field, crossing his arms and shaking his head.

Young Boys were dangerous on the counterattack and really took the game to United in the second half, with Garcia's chance coming amid their best spell of the game.

Mourinho, who later picked up and hurled a drinks container to the ground in an odd celebration of Fellaini's winner, admitted his "relief" that the victory meant United would now not have to suffer a nervous night in Valencia in its final group match.

"We didn't play to be in trouble until the last minute. I was frustrated we couldn't score. My players were very tired at the end. That's what I want. Without David de Gea's save, no winning goal. We qualified. We did it."

The Portuguese's United side, though, had gone through a now-familiar lengthy struggle to earn the win, raising more questions about its chances of advancing further in the knockout stage.

Mourinho acknowledged this as he added: "Realistically, to be in the last 16 is an achievement-not a big one or a fantastic one, but an achievement.

"There are better teams than us. Teams with more quality and realistic ambitions. When a team arrives in the quarterfinals, anything can happen."

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