The match finished with a 6 -2 score line in favour of Madrid, yet was far from deeply convincing. With a tough tie on Tuesday against Ajax in the Champions League and then adding Di Maria to the list of absentees the following weekend in La Liga, times are not exactly easy for Mourinho, but when are they?
For a manager who thrives on cultivating an ‘us against the world’ mentality, Mourinho will know exactly how to react, and when asked what is responsible for the 17 reds in his short tenure, is sure to reply either UNICEF, UEFA, Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets – basically anyone other than his players and himself. Whilst this is not entirely true, there is more than a small amount of truth in the fact that during certain times, officiating has not exactly favoured Madrid, and Real’s conduct is just in response to this.
Despite the criticism of Real’s start to the season, the fact remains that they are only a single point behind Barcelona and top of their Champion’s league group, which can hardly be considered a poor start, especially when injuries and suspensions are factored in to the mix.
Whilst Barca cannot be expected to drop points at home against Real’s local rivals Athletico who put in as much effort against the Catalans as Scholes did into learning how to tackle, closing the gap this week is not expected, but getting back to winning ways was, and with Espanyol away next weekend before the international break, Mourinho will be expecting the full 6 points from the next two games – and will be hoping to do it without any more dubious decisions from the officials.
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