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Liga (Spain)

REAL MADRID, Mourinho: "The players worked hard"

22.11.2012 09.35 by TM W  read 2262
Source: Realmadrid.com
© foto di Alterphotos/Image Sport

José Mourinho spoke to the media after his 100th Champions League match. The Portuguese coach highlighted his team’s attitude towards defending the result in the final minutes: "I do not want to talk about the referees. The goal and the area are far from the bench and for me it was impossible to say whether or not it was a penalty, that is what for you are here for. The journalists are the ones who decide if it was a penalty or a red card. City have a great squad and we were down to ten men. We had to defend and we did not have a player like Essien on the bench, who would have been good at the time. The players worked hard and played very good match. We knew that the point would put us into the round of 16 without taking any risks".

The Portuguese analysed the match as follows: "We had several opportunities to score. The second goal would have finished match, we totally controlled the match. City reacted and it is amazing how this team, with these players, have had two years without getting through to the Champions League round of 16. They put us under pressure for a few minutes and then the penalty came with the sending off and the equaliser. Playing with ten against a team with thousands of attacking options, we defended well and got the draw. You have to play to draw the match, not to win. We qualified with a match left to play".

The Portuguese coach recalled a previous experience with Italian referee Rocchi: "I played a derby match between Inter and Milan in which most of the time I was with ten players, and end with nine, and there was also a nonexistent penalty. This time, the referee was next to the goal. I am calm and I have a ban pending. I appreciate the gift that UEFA presented me with, a very nice plaque for the 100 matches played in the Champions League. Imagine if we the ones who went out of this group".

The Real Madrid coach was asked in the press room if this match was among his worst memories in Champions: "I lost a semi-final with a goal that was not because the ball didn’t cross the line, one in which Pepe broke his tibia and Alves his fibula, others about penalties ... I’ve had worse moments in my Champions League career. This was a match is amongst the acceptable ones and not the dramatic ones".

The Real Madrid coach was also talked about the Benítez’s arrival at Chelsea and Silva's performance: "I'm never happy when another coach gets sacked. I feel sorry for the coach, their families ... also sympathise with the teams that they've trained and I want them to do well. I wish the best to Rafa Benítez. Silva is a great player, the great players do not know how to play badly".

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