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Real Madrid, moral victor and sore loser
by Paul Kennedy, January 25th, 2012 9:26PM

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TAGS:  spain

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[EL CLASICO, ACT 5] Barcelona was cruising along in the second leg of their Copa del Rey series with Real Madrid, leading 2-0 and 4-1 on aggregate, so Barca fans started to sing, "We love you Mourinho, please stay," in reference to reports that Coach Jose Mourinho might leave Real Madrid, win or lose, at the end of La Liga season. Then things got tense ...

Two goals had Real Madrid on the verge of making an epic comeback. In the end, Barcelona went through, but Real Madrid -- with a five-point lead in La Liga -- was the moral victor.

Goals by Pedro -- set up brilliantly by Lionel Messi -- and Daniel Alves put Barca ahead 2-0 on the night but Real came back on goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to make the final score, 2-2.

It was another charged game with one Real Madrid player sent off -- Sergio Ramos late in the game -- and eight yellow cards handed out -- eight to Real Madrid players.

As is the pattern, the Real side cried foul:

-- Mourinho: "In the locker room I heard [some players] say it was impossible to win. I heard that in my dressing room but I didn't say that.''

-- Real Madrid goalie Iker Casillas, its captain, quoted as saying: "[Referee], now you can go party with Barca."

-- And from Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa, "We were much better than Barcelona, we had a lot of opportunities but the referee lost it in the little details. We would have preferred if the cards had been more evenly distributed.''



14 comments
  1. Brian Damphousse
    commented on: January 25, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.
    Moral victor? A most meaningless term.

  1. Efrahim Fernandez
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 8:13 a.m.
    Meaningless ? The facts 1st 25 minutes Madrids high pressure suffocated Barca.They should have been up 3 nil.It took Messi and an unbelievable shot by Alves to give Barca the lead. Despite the score who was the better team? Moral victory #1.Second half,mostly more Madrid dictating play.Barca ticky tacky mostly went backwards or sideways hardly forward.Two goals later tied. Final 10 minutes all Madrid.Priceless to see when they spanned the stadium the Barca fans cluthcing the their scarfs with worried looks.Priceless to see Pep rubbing his head with concern.Moral victory #2. Finally we left Camp Nou knowing we have a 5 point lead and we are equal to Barca or close enough to a great team that they will fear us .Moral Victory # 3.You can have The Copa, We will take our Moral Victory and the Big Trophies..

  1. Sidney Hall
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 8:53 a.m.
    I have to say that this was some of the worst officiating I've ever seen at the pro level. Real Madrid was the better team even after playing with ten men. The refs probably did party with Barca and were financialy better off after the game. :(

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 9:46 a.m.
    Financially better. Real Madrid is historically the biggest spender. Ramos should not have been sent out but Pepe should have been arrested after last game so it evens out. This is the best Real Madrid has ever played vs Barca. But lets not forget that Barca dominated them at their field the previous game and have done so for many more. What has to be highlighted is the fact that Barca has defeated this great team so many times in a row. Another reason why they are the best team in the world.

  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 10 a.m.
    How are you going to get those big trophies without real victories, Efrahim? Moral victories only make the bus ride home a little easier...

  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 10:07 a.m.
    Sidney - agreed, the referee was poor. But what makes you think he showed Barcelona preference? Lass Diara should have been sent off and Pepe fouled Sanchez twice in the box without touching the ball. As a center back, you never, ever go for the man without getting some of the ball, particularly when he is between you and the ball. I think the referee was inconsistent and failed to control the game at times, but where in particular did he let Madrid down? And how many more times is Mourinho going to blame the referee for his own shortcomings?

  1. Adrian Gonzalez
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
    Real Madrid were the better team on this day, no question. Referees did not cost them the game, missed opportunities, mostly early, cost them the game. If anyone should have sent off it was Pepe, Ramos did not deserve what he received. Lass Diara should have been gone as well, at the very least, cautioned. Nice post Gak.

  1. Carl Grover
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
    The only thing that counts is who wins the game and Real Madrid can't beat Barcelona regardless of the referee. So suck it up Madrid and hope Mourinho leaves and goes to Africa. The talent is there so stop the whining and get a coach who can beat Barcelona.

  1. Andres Yturralde
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
    Good psychological win for Real Madrid. And even better for El Clasico. I don't care for either team, I just want to see good soccer. Que viva el futbol!

  1. Efrahim Fernandez
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.
    Yes your correct about victories but what Real did was establish belief. After the first two losses at the Bernabeu where they were out played the team suffered from confidence. How often will you get a wonder shot from Alves to beat Madrid? Madrid were the better team yesterday as majority of news reports this morning stated. My point is Real and Barca are the two best teams in the world. Yesterday Madrid proved to themselves , their coach and the world they can beat Barca not by sitting back but by attacking them down their throats. Perhaps the Copa will go to Barca and the league and the bunny rabbit ears trophy will be ours. Belief my friend,belief..

  1. Gak Foodsource
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 12:25 p.m.
    Efrahim - I agree, and hope yesterday was a turning point for Mourinho and Madrid players. The defensive shell he has been playing had sucked all the life out of his players, who could never get involved in the game. Allowing Madrid to attack and play an open game with Kaka and Ozil had a profound and noticeable impact on the players. I am confounded it took "the special one" this long to give it a shot. Yesterday's game was my favorite Barca-Madrid game in a while.

  1. Vince Leone
    commented on: January 26, 2012 at 1:02 p.m.
    I want to like Madrid because they have great players and can play very enjoyable football (when allowed to?). Unfortunately, their ceaseless whining and physical assaults on Barca players turn me off. I actually feel sorry for players like Ronaldo, Ozil, and Kaka--they deserve a team that sets them free and they don't need thugs to help them.

  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: January 27, 2012 at 12:45 p.m.
    Real Madrid does the same thing every game... 1st 25 minutes they press hard... Barca braves the onslaught and then controls the game. Barca has the confidence and knowledge that it is a 90 minute game. Mourinho, the master tactician, is not very creative in his tactics. Mourinho is a joke with all the whining and complaining. There was at least one penalty earned for Barca that the referee didn't give. If Real Madrid would rely on their skill instead of the thuggery tactics of Mourinho, they would produce better soccer and actually have a chance. How much confidence do you have as a team, when the coach is probably telling his team to play physically... teams only do that if they aren't as skilled.... this must just kill the Madrid players, as if they can't play skill vs. skill. Real Madrid = whiners. Mourinho is a chap shot artist and a whiner.

  1. Andres Yturralde
    commented on: January 27, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.
    Very well said, Vince! I agree 100% with you. I would also mention Xabi Alonso. The poor guy is ordered to be a thug every time they go against Barcelona, so he hardly gets to display his strength--sending those beautiful long balls into space. True, this time around Real Madrid felt more relaxed and free-to-play. They really had nothing to lose at the Camp Nou; they could only improve from last week's performance at the Bernabeu. Notice how well Xabi Alonso, Ozil, and Ronaldo play when they just relax and stick to their game. Quick, fast, creative. Run it again. Run Real Madrid's first goal all over again. Look how nice and smooth it is. And talking about nice and smooth, let's not forget Iniesta. Dude not being there the whole game hurt Barcelona's cause.


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