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.
|Kohli: India were better and deserved to win|
|Bears shut down Goff, Rams|
|India survive dramatic finish against Australia|
|Klopp calls for electric Anfield atmosphere against Napoli|
|Saints clinch back-to-back NFC South titles, Bears trump Rams|
|Bucks improve to 2-0 against Raptors with win in Toronto|
|Black Caps include Patel for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Maidana: River want Real Madrid clash|
|Cowboys top Eagles in OT behind stellar Cooper display|
|AC Milan evaluating Fabregas signing – Leonardo|
|WATCH: Steelers´ chance at game-tying field goal slips away|
|Hayne will plead not guilty to charges, says lawyer|
|Boca boss Schelotto: The only thing I feel is sadness|
|Cardinals´ Fitzgerald makes NFL history with most receptions for one team|
|River Plate´s Copa Libertadores star Gonzalo Martinez confirms January departure|
|Klopp: I was never worried about Salah´s form|
|Packers QB Rodgers sets NFL record for most passes without an interception|
|World Cup bulking hampered Man United form – Lukaku|
|Leonardo rules out Ibrahimovic Milan return|
|Warriors´ Green to return against Timberwolves|
|I feel for him… we´ll make it work – Butler responds to Embiid´s frustration|
|Torino draw no missed opportunity for misfiring AC Milan, claims Gattuso|
|We´ll always be linked together forever - Wade reflects on playing with James before final match-up|
|O´Sullivan wins record seventh UK title|
|Chiefs secure playoff berth, Saints win NFC South|
|River Plate 3 Boca Juniors 1 (aet, 5-3 agg): Quintero and Martinez clinch Libertadores title in extr|
|WATCH: Chiefs QB Mahomes throws no-look pass|
|Dolphins defeat Patriots on miraculous final play|
|Kizzire eagle snatches QBE Shootout victory|
|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
|Martinez pays tribute to Martino, Almiron after MLS Cup glory|
|LeBron: Final Wade matchup will be bittersweet|
|Alvarez-Kovalev rematch set for February 2|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|