Preface: As a liverpool fan, I've learned to appreciate under Houllier the merits of supremely negative football in order to grind out a win, even against vastly inferior opponents. So it's not like I think Mourinho is fundamentally in the wrong for doing it, especially away from home in a knockout competition. I just don't see him doing a particularly impressive job of it. When I see people saying that at least Mourinho got the job he wanted to do done, I am just not seeing it. If you are going to be unadventurous and commit your dogs of war to protecting the clean sheet, it should be a defender or central midfielder that shines as your MotM - not your keeper. The payoff for lacking attacking intent should at least be that your keeper had little to do, and yet that frequently does not happen. Mourinho gives his defenders ideal conditions. They get to sit deep, the midfield generally keeps to its structure, they obviously spend a lot of time on defensive drilling in training. So why is De Gea so often the one shining at the back? When you sacrifice as much as you do going forwards to have a strong defence, your keeper shouldn't be performing miracles as frequently as he is. Mourinho has built great defences with Chelsea in the past where the keeper has still been able to demonstrate that he is a top class keeper. But I've never seen their keeper worked the way De Gea is. A De Gea miracle save should be capping a performance with intent. Not bailing out a defence that spent all game on the backfoot. Replace De Gea with a peak Van der Saar or other 'merely top class' keeper, and you'd be irrelevant in all competitions at this stage. From where I am sitting, Mourinho has made big attacking sacrifices to build a defence that is good, but no more than that, and is basically relying on the difference between De Gea and other top class keepers to save him from crashing and burning.