Jose Mourinho reflected that Real Madrid deserved to advance to the UEFA Champions League Semifinals, even if Galatasaray deserved to win the second-leg of the quarterfinal series, 3-2, at the Turk Telekom Arena on Tuesday night. After taking a 1-0 lead through Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos withstood a dramatic second-half comeback from the Turkish champion, led by January signings Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba, which saw the series score move from 4-0 to 4-3 in 15 minutes. However, in the end, Ronaldo’s second goal of the night put the series to bed in stoppage time.
After the game, Mourinho praised his team for its reaction to conceding three goals in such a short time span. “When it went to 3-1, instead of making things more difficult, the team calmed down. We closed the open spaces that there were with tactical changes with [Angel] Di Maria and [Raul] Albiol,” the Portuguese said. “From there the match was under control, and we deserved to go through and Galatasaray deserved to win and show the pride of a big club with good players, a great coach and great fans.”
He added: “Everyone wants to play in atmospheres like this, it is perfect for football and I do not think the Real Madrid players used it. The Galatasaray players did. They had a fantastic second half, played with pride and all that is good about soccer.”
Meanwhile, Ronaldo warned his Real teammates that they cannot repeat the mistakes they made in lstanbul. “We made the match difficult for ourselves, in football you cannot anything give away, you have to play for 90 minutes. What happened here cannot be repeated in the future,” he said. “You learn from your mistakes…the best thing is it happened now and not in a decisive game.”