Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mourinho defiant as Real crash in Dortmund

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has
insisted his side can still reach the
Champions League final, despite being
routed 4-1 at Borussia Dortmund in the
first leg of their semi-final.
Poland striker Robert Lewandowski netted
all four of Dortmund's goals to strengthen
the possibility of an all-German final at
Wembley on May 25, but Cristiano
Ronaldo's away goal gives Real a slim
second-leg life line.
After Bayern Munich's 4-0 hammering of
Barcelona on Tuesday in the other semi-
final, Borussia followed the German
champions' example and floored their
Spanish opponents at Dortmund's Signal
Iduna Park.
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Mourinho's team now face an uphill battle
at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in
Tuesday's return leg, but with Real chasing
a tenth European title, the 50-year-old
self-styled 'Special One' has promised they
will put up a fight.
" I have learnt that anything can happen in
football, it will be tough next week, but
nothing is impossible and my footballers
will try to show that next Tuesday," said
Mourinho.
" The best team by far won.
" Individually and collectively Dortmund were
better and deserved their victory.
" They were first to every ball and were far
more intense than us.
" We found it hard to hold onto possession
when they pressed, but we can come
back."
Real only narrowly avoided suffering their
worst defeat in international competition -
AC Milan beating them 5-0 in what was
then the European Cup in the 1988/89
campaign - but Dortmund coach Jurgen
Klopp advocated caution.
" We have to force ourselves to stay
focused, we still need to go to Madrid,
which will be no walk in the park," said
Klopp.
" We scored some great goals and played
really well, but we have to go to Fortuna
Duesseldorf , in the Bundesliga, then Madrid
for the second game and there is still a lot
to do."
Klopp quickly poured water on any notion
his side are now favourites to win the
Champions League for the second time in
their history after their 1997 triumph.
" I don't have the feeling we're favourites,
we produced an exceptional game against a
fantastic team ... we just want to reach
the final," said Klopp.
" Nothing is decided, it's just halftime. We
don't have much experience this far in the
tournament and we will have to work
unbelievably hard in Madrid.
" The only thing I know, which is great, is
that my team will not go there and want to
defend ."
Klopp had promised his players would not
be destabilised by the news on Tuesday
that 20-year-old midfield star Mario Goetze
was to join Bayern Munich next season and
his prophecy proved correct.
The night belonged to Lewandowski who
stole the limelight with the opening goal,
then added a second-half hat-trick to
became the first player to score four goals
in a Champions League semi-final.
" We have taken only the first step, but of
course we are happy ," said Lewandowski.