Disappointing night for Mourinho’s men as struggling Celta de Vigo beat Real 2-1
It was another night that Jose Mourinho would rather forget. He picked a strong starting XI for crucial Copa del Rey match against 15th placed Celta de Vigo.
The Portuguese manager certainly made it clear that Copa del Rey was just as important to him as the other leagues Los Blancos play in. Real Madrid has won the Copa on 18 occasions including the 2010-11 season when Mourinho took charge at the Bernabeu.
The visitors started the brightest with just two minutes on the clock. Di Maria’s superb individual effort was punched away by Selgio Alvarez. The Celta keeper was challenged again shortly, this time by Michael Essien from over 40 yards out, but Alvarez had it under control.
Cristiano Ronaldo showed glimpses of his skills when he cut through from the left and fired a strong shot which unfortunately for him was directed at the Celta keeper.
Second half Os Celestes seemed inspired, and ten minutes after the restart their positive spirits were rewarded with a goal. Krohn-Dehli drove the ball into the Real’s 18-yard box, and fed a brilliant cross to Mario Bermejo who slotted the ball past the keeper. It was a soft goal to concede, which left Real’s defence confused and frustrated.
Kaka was substituted on with desperate need to produce something for the whites, but it was Luka Modric who had the best chance, but his shot was saved. The Croatian did well to create an opportunity out of Alonso’s aimless loop but his execution was poor.
Celta de Vigo’s substitution had an immediate impact by doubling the home side’s lead. Christian Bustos made his mark on the night by scoring an absolute screamer 25 yards out, which gave Adan no chance at getting anything on it.
However, the visitors were salvaged four minutes from the final whistle when Ronaldo got on the end of a floating ball from Alonso, and this time he made sure to put it past the Celta keeper who produced a phenomenal performance. Ronaldo clinching a goal towards the dying minutes meant that Mourinho’s men will go into the second leg match on Tuesday at the Bernabeu stadium, with some hope of progressing into the quarter finals of Copa del Rey.
With Real trailing Barcelona in La Liga by 11 points, it seemed that Jose Mourinho is prioritising Copa del Rey and Champions League over the domestic league, hence Barcelona’s consistent run has their place firmly embedded at the top.