TURIN • Jose Mourinho has defended his taunting of Juventus fans, after Manchester United's sensational late revival saw them snatch a 2-1 Champions League away victory on Wednesday.
Former United star Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the second half. But despite being outplayed for almost the entire game, United struck back with a free kick from Juan Mata in the 86th minute and a scrappy Leonardo Bonucci own goal three minutes later.
"If you understand Italian, you will know that I was insulted by them for 90 minutes," said former Inter Milan coach Mourinho, who cupped his ear to the home fans at the final whistle, prompting a cascade of howling whistles.
"I didn't offend anyone, I just made a gesture to tell them that I wanted to hear them louder.
"I probably shouldn't have done it and, with a cool head, I wouldn't have. But with my family insulted, including my Inter Milan family, I reacted like this."
He was escorted down the tunnel by a United backroom staff member before the situation could escalate.
Juventus lost a Champions League group-stage game at home for the first time since December 2009, when Bayern Munich beat them 4-1. The defeat also ended their 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Manchester United have come back to win a Champions League match with two goals in the final five minutes for the first time since the famous 2-1 victory over Bayern in the 1999 final.
United's Champions League wins at Juventus, more than any other club.
The Portuguese had also clashed with Juventus in United's 0-1 loss at Old Trafford last month, when he held three fingers up to the away fans, in reference to the treble he won with Inter in 2010.
His Turin reaction came on the day the Football Association said it would appeal against the decision by an independent commission, which cleared him for an alleged foul-mouthed outburst in Portuguese in front of TV cameras after a 3-2 win over Newcastle on Oct 6.
He was also taunted by Chelsea assistant coach Marco Ianni last month. The Italian celebrated a late equaliser for the hosts with a fist pump in front of the Portuguese in the 2-2 Premier League draw.
Despite his unhappy experience, Mourinho was thrilled with his side's performance, saying: "It is a fantastic victory for us. It is about the feeling of how well we played.
"And I think even if this game doesn't end with victory, I would have the same feeling, that the team played really, really well from the first minute against - I repeat - a super team."
United, second in Group H, could book their place in the knockout stages if they win their next match against Young Boys, depending on the result of Valencia's game against Juventus on the same night.
The thrilling finale in Turin is the latest in a series of epic turnaround victories for United, who beat Bournemouth 2-1 in the English Premier League last Saturday and also rallied late in their win over Newcastle. It also sets United up nicely for Sunday's league derby against leaders Manchester City.
"We played this season against Chelsea and Juventus away, the two best teams that we faced this season and we played very well in both," said Mourinho. "This is what we want. We want to play well, and it doesn't matter the team."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN