He is the self-proclaimed 'Special One' but has Jose Mourinho lost his touch?
Mourinho dazzled when he first set foot inside Stamford Bridge in 2004 – famously saying: "I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one" after guiding Porto to a remarkable Champions League triumph just weeks earlier.
That name stuck as former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss Mourinho – the walking headline – re-wrote footballing heritage, establishing himself as a managerial juggernaut with trophies in England, Italy and Spain.
His success came with controversy. It was part of the baggage, which often captivated the English media in particular.
But fast forward to 2018 and Mourinho is no longer looking like the 'Special One' in a world engrossed with arch-nemesis Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City entertainers.
Already 16 points behind Premier League champions-elect City, the Champions League loomed as the next-best way to get one over their neighbours but that plan fell by the wayside – sensationally eliminated by Sevilla in the round of 16.
And that is when cracks started to appear – a defiant Mourinho quickly highlighting United's previous European failings in a bid to distance himself from Tuesday's shock exit at Old Trafford, where victories over Chelsea and Liverpool had previously boosted confidence and renewed belief.
Mourinho, linked with Paris Saint-Germain before signing a timely contract extension in January, was nonchalant in his reaction.
"I sat in this chair twice in the Champions League and I knocked out Manchester United at Old Trafford – with Porto and Real Madrid – so I don't think it's something new for the club," the Portuguese told reporters.
Then there was his epic 12-minute monologue in the build up to United's FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton and Hove Albion.
In front of a packed pre-game news conference, Mourinho came out swinging on Friday, reminding reporters and fans of United's Champions League failings… at length, while also pointing out City's recent Premier League success and the quality Guardiola inherited following his arrival in 2016.
United players were spared any criticism prior to Saturday's clash as Mourinho launched an impassioned defence of his tenure.
But Luke Shaw and Co. were in the firing line, even after United booked their spot in the semi-finals with a 2-0 victory.
Mourinho delivered a stinging criticism of Shaw after the out-of-favour left-back was hauled off at half-time, while the 55-year-old also accused his players of being scared, with their mentality questioned.
It is all a far cry from Mourinho's glowing endorsement of his squad at the start of the season, when he described the current United team – which delivered Europa League and EFL Cup silverware last term – as his favourite ever prior to August's 4-0 rout of West Ham.
But it does sound eerily similar to when Mourinho slammed the Chelsea squad before he was dismissed in 2015 – the Premier League and Champions League-winning manager claiming he felt "betrayed" following a 2-1 loss to eventual champions Leicester City.
That proved to be the end of Mourinho at Chelsea – who were 16th and only a point above the relegation zone at the time just seven months after winning the title – closing the curtain on a strained relationship between a manager and his squad.
Mourinho also experienced an unhappy demise at Madrid and with fans already divided over his nullifying style of football, which has negated the impact of marquee men Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, the maligned manager's marriage with United could be heading for divorce.
|Browns trade running back Hyde to Jaguars|
|Mourinho: I´d love to have Hazard at Manchester United|
|Hamilton´s title chances enhanced by Vettel´s grid penalty|
|Deja vu for Enisei as La Rochelle inflict another thrashing|
|Five-star Jovic makes Bundesliga history|
|Liverpool´s scoring slump no concern for cautious Klopp|
|He´s the Special One - Sarri insists he is not on Mourinho´s level yet|
|Second-half blitz guides Leicester to European success|
|Sheffield Wednesday 1 Middlesbrough 2: Besic, Assombalonga see off Owls|
|Goerges rallies to reach Luxembourg Open final, Jabeur makes history|
|Howe: Transfer speculation will not disrupt Ake|
|´Do we really want opera every night?´ - Klopp not changing Nations League view|
|Vile and abhorrent – Chelsea´s Carney responds to online abuse|
|Giants WR Beckham Jr. explains why he might cramp up: ´I really don´t like water´|
|Man City pay training-pitch tribute to Joe Hart|
|Neymar to be rested as Tuchel rubbishes Ballon d´Or concerns|
|Sarri ´not interested´ in Christensen father´s quit threat|
|Cardinals fire offensive coordinator McCoy after 1-6 start|
|Neymar return unlikely, but anything can happen – Valverde|
|Bairstow a doubt for fourth ODI|
|Manchester United fined for late arrival and delayed kick-off against Valencia|
|Australia-Pakistan chat not ´especially polite´ - Sarfraz|
|Pogba relishing ´pressure game´ against in-form Hazard|
|Don´t bet on Cardiff survival, warns Warnock|
|Buffon enjoying Tuchel´s methods at PSG|
|RIP to Wimbledon epics! Isner feels like The Undertaker following final-set tie-break rule|
|Sevilla performance sealed Bernat´s Bayern exit - Hoeness|
|Keita set to miss out as Liverpool monitor injured stars|
|He didn´t want to be here – Guardiola doubts Sancho will return to Manchester City|
|Sarri: Manchester United are the best in the Premier League|
|Mourinho salutes ´brave´ Shaw for ´best possible´ response to criticism|
|No Ballon d´Or distractions for Griezmann, insists Simeone|
|Wigan stand by Hardaker as full-back prepares to undergo rehabilitation|
|Barcelona deny Neymar talk|
|Hazard can win the Ballon d´Or as a Chelsea player, insists Sarri|
|De Bruyne in contention to start in Manchester City´s clash with Burnley|
|Neymar needs to mature to reach Messi levels - Xavi|
|We have a hell of a lot to do - Paine slams Australia batting|
|Kerber and Osaka to meet at WTA Finals|
|Lorenzo out of Japanese MotoGP|
|Real Madrid handed Africa trip in Copa del Rey|
|Allegri: Ronaldo has sharpened Juventus focus|
|No Wade in Wasps squad amid NFL reports|
|Rooney: Five of us controlled Man United dressing room|
|Bayern bosses launch scathing attack on ´disrespectful´ media|
|Saints lock in Lawes to new deal|
|Adelaide United 1 Sydney 1: Debutant Le Fondre rescues a point|
|Madrid can´t look back, only forward - Lopetegui confident of revival|
|Wimbledon to introduce final-set tie-breaks|
|Abbas inspires Pakistan to series victory|
|Madrid boss Lopetegui hopeful on Bale availability|
|Mood is positive at Bayern, insists under-pressure Kovac|
|LeBron offers food for thought after losing Lakers debut|
|Bolt future not an immediate concern for Mariners|
|Hazard: I could finish my career at Chelsea|
|Buffon hoping to avoid Champions League final against Juventus|
|Wilshere not ready for West Ham return|
|Chelsea v Manchester United: Hazard better under Sarri than he ever was with Mourinho|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Khawaja suffers meniscal tear, doubt for India series|
|Babbel: Klopp must win trophies now at Liverpool|
|LeBron makes spectacular start on Lakers debut, but LA fall to Trail Blazers|
|Broncos thrash Cardinals to end losing streak|
|Price leads Red Sox past Astros and into World Series|
|LeBron makes fast start on Lakers debut with two massive dunks|
|Real Salt Lake 4 New England Revolution 1: Hosts boost play-off chances|
|Simmons gets triple-double in win over Bulls|
|´Ambitious´ Maguire wants Champions League football|
|Henry praises ´charismatic leader´ Falcao|
|WATCH: Cardinals WR Fitzgerald tackles former QB Warner on sidelines|