Mourinho happy with Real professionalism
Updated: 2013-04-05 07:44
By Agence France-Presse in Madrid (China Daily)
Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates his goal against Galatasaray during the Champions League quarterfinal first-leg match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Wednesday. Real Madrid won 3-0. Juan Medina / Reuters
Spanish side routs Galatasaray 3-0 to move step closer to semis
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was delighted with his side's professionalism as it all but secured its place in the Champions League semifinals with a 3-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain got the goals for the host, but Mourinho was just as happy with the defensive side of its performance in the first leg of their quarterfinal.
"The team played a serious and well-balanced game," he said.
"We defended well and counter attacked with danger. The players knew at this stage of the competition small details can define the games but we played very well.
"Higuain and Benzema scored a goal and this is good for their confidence."
Indeed, with such a comfortable lead to take to Istanbul next week, the Portuguese admitted his biggest task would be to ensure his troops are not complacent.
"They need a miracle but there are miracles in football. So why can't they dream of a miracle?
"I have enough experience to know we have a very good result and will try everything to convince my players that it is not over and try to play with the same mentality as tonight."
Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso picked up yellow cards in the second half that will see them miss the second leg, but Mourinho denied they had been pre-planned to ensure they would be free to play in the semifinals and claimed their presence will be missed.
"They are important absences for the next game. Xabi and Ramos will play on Saturday when they weren't going to do so, but it has complicated my plans for Istanbul."
Galatasaray boss Fatih Terim accepted there was a gulf in class between the sides, but claimed the Turkish champion had been very harshly treated when Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen showed Burak Yilmaz a yellow card for diving rather than awarding a penalty when he was clipped by Ramos in the second half.
"Maybe the Real Madrid name affected Galatasaray and the referee didn't have the courage to show a card when he had to," he said.
"I think the referee made many mistakes, the whole stadium could see that Ramos stood on Burak's foot.
"Many of our players have a lot of experience, it is hard to play in Real Madrid's stadium in front of so many fans but the difference in quality between both teams is noticeable."
(China Daily 04/05/2013 page12)