It was another huge let down for Jose Mourinho. Not a 0-5 type of disappointment, not a Champions League exit kind. Just another match that proved Barcelona, despite the league table, are currently superior to his Real Madrid. At least when it comes to league Clasico matches.
Real Madrid are still on top, with the same 37 points Barcelona have, but Real have a game in hand compared to the European champions. A win over Sevilla, and Real Madrid will be the Christmas champions. Winning in Seville isn’t exactly easy, but Real Madrid have shown their quality plenty of times this season. It’ll be ridiculous, despite the 1-3 loss to Barcelona, to predict anything but a Real win this weekend.
The Spanish league proves to us again and again that the rest of it’s 18 teams prefer not to interfere between the battles of giants. Barcelona have hit more than one road bump this season, but history, in general, teaches us it’s a two team battle that decided the fate of the season.
For Mourinho, things look different with more than 24 hours of retrospective on the match. He was rather quiet after the loss. He seemed downcast, holding back, restrained during the 90 minutes, especially after Xavi’s go-ahead goal for Barcelona. Many of the poison arrows have been shot at Cristiano Ronaldo, criticizing once again for failing to score against Barcelona, failing to live up to the Lionel Messi standard.
I think Jose Mourinho has plenty of the blame to burden on his shoulders. If the blitzing 1-0 can be attributed to enthusiasm and preparation, than the inability to bounce back from the goals and the lack of effort from Real through the final 20 minutes, apparently giving up on the match, has to be marked down next to the Portuguese coach.
The first half was balanced, but the goal in second half was pure luck and nothing more. After that, they had the psycological supremacy that comes with being in front and they were able to pass the ball around and keep it as they love to do. But luck plays a part. At 1-0, we should have gone 2-0 up, which under normal circumstances we would have, because Cristiano normally puts the ball in. The dressing room is sad but relaxed. But if we beat Sevilla we will be leaders at Christmas.
When Mourinho made these comments, it seemed he was actually putting some of the blame on Ronaldo, although a different, later tune, made us think otherwise. Still, it’s very unlike the ‘Special One’ to throw his players, especially star players, under the bus. When he talks about luck, he’s right. Xavi did enjoy a lucky deflection. But the writing of Barcelona winning this match was on the wall from the moment Alexis scored.
Real’s inability to react and adjust and Mourinho speaking about being physiologically inferior means he did more than a thing or two wrong. These 90 minutes are much longer then you might think. Plenty of things can change, as we witness every week.
If he is like me he doesn’t listen to whistling. He was affected by losing a match, as we all were, but without ever losing his emotional balance. It’s normal that he is sadder today than he was 15 days ago but there is no drama about his situation. There is no feeling of inferiority. I wouldn’t change our situation with anyone else’s. My motivation is as strong as ever. Leaders in the Champions League, leaders in La Liga and you are asking me about motivation?
I hardly believe Ronaldo was affected by the booing, even if it came from the home fans. Too much a deal was made from the jeers, who weren’t as plentiful and loud as some try and describe. Ronaldo will be back to his incredible scoring rate pretty soon. Real Madrid? They’ll probably win in Seville, although you never know. I get the feeling this loss hurt much more than Mourinho’s letting on.
You need to remember that what happens at the end of the season, who wins the title, is much more important than who won the match.