26th April, 2012
Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho has lamented the fact that his side had to play Barcelona in a critical match for the Primera Division just four days ago after they were beaten 3-1 by Bayern Munich on penalties, last night.
The Spaniards, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, raced into 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes, thanks to a double from Cristiano Ronaldo. But Bayern levelled the tie through Arjen Robben’s penalty just before the half hour mark.
Neither side could then break the deadlock as the game drifted into extra time and finally penalties and after Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos had all missed for the hosts, Bastian Schweinsteiger rattled home his spot-kick which means Bayern will become the first side to host a UEFA Champions League final on their own ground when they face Chelsea on 19 May.
And Mourinho believes the extra strain put on his players from beating Barcelona on Saturday, whilst Bayern rested a host of players in their 2-1 win over Werder Bremen, proved decisive.
He said: “We deserved to win, mainly because the matches were very even and it is a completely different situation when a team plays for a championship against a side that doesn’t.
“I had the same situation when Chelsea played Liverpool in a semi-final. Liverpool were 30 points off the top and played a reserve team at Fulham whilst Chelsea fought every game to win the championship that season.
“If we weren’t playing to win the title, we would have had fresher players, but the team were fantastic in terms of their physical condition. Barcelona played the el clasico and then two days later lost to Chelsea, this has incredible value.
“You only have to look at the final which will be played between the fifth placed team in England against the second placed team in Germany, both of which used second choice players at the weekend.”
However, Mourinho praised his former club for their stout defensive performance against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Tuesday and was scathing of those who criticised their tactics. “John Terry will be missing but Chelsea are there and that is the most important thing. Chelsea were heroes. People who criticise them know nothing about character, effort and how a team with 10 men can resist physically, mentally and tactically. It reminded me of my own Inter Milan team two years ago.