Jose Mourinho: Bitter or Just in Defeat?

Jose Mourinho has been fined for his post-match outburst that followed Real Madrid’s 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Barcelona in last night’s Champions League 1st leg.

After a dull first half, the tie burst into life with an end of half ruckus that saw Barcelona’s backup goalkeeper Jose Pinto sent off.

The second half began with more action than the first, but it was in the 61st minute where the controversy began when Real Madrid’s Pepe was shown a straight red card for barely making contact with Barcelona’s Dani Alves. The Brazilian full back and wannabe winger done his best theatrics that included a few rolls, and German referee Wolfgang Stark sent off his fellow countryman.

Jose Mourinho had a few words to say to the fourth official and sarcastically applauded the referee as he was sent to the stands to watch the remainder of the game. This was the fourth meeting between the two Spanish giants this season, and Madrid have ended all four with 10 men.

Real Madrid failed to deal with Barcelona thereafter, having held them at bay and had chances themselves when the numbers were even. Lionel Messi tapped in the first before a sublime solo second goal all-but-killed the affair.

Mourinho’s post-match interview included the following statements:

If I tell UEFA what I think and feel, my career will end now. As I can’t say what I feel and will just have to leave a question to which some day I hope to get an answer… why? Why?

I don’t know whether it is the UNICEF publicity. I don’t know whether it is Mr. Villar’s power within UEFA. I don’t know whether they are nice people, I just don’t know, I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I congratulate Barcelona; they are a fantastic football team as I have always said. I congratulate their achievements too, but those things should be difficult to achieve. They’ve been helped by gaining this power. Others just don’t have a chance.

Josep Guardiola is a great football coach, I repeat; a fantastic football coach. But he won a Champions League title I would be ashamed of after the scandal at Stamford Bridge in 2009. This year if he wins again it will be after a scandal at the Bernabeu. I hope that one day he’ll win a clean Champions League with no incidents behind it.

In the full interview, Mourinho questioned why Tom Ovrebo (Chelsea versus Barcelona 2009), Massimo Busacca (Arsenal versus Barcelona 2011), Frank De Bleeckere (Barcelona v Inter 2010) and Wolfgang Stark (yesterday’s official) made their bad decisions, all in favour of Barcelona.

Jose Mourinho has a good case; Chelsea had four legitimate penalty claims turned down in their 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in 2009 that saw them eliminated on the away goals rule. In the second round this year, Arsenal’s Robin van Persie was harshly sent off for kicking the ball away, in a tie that Barcelona dominated although only won the tie after the London side were reduced to 10 men. Mourinho’s Inter Milan eliminated Barcelona in last year’s Champions League semi final, despite a harsh red cad to Inter Milan’s Thiago Motta. Inter Milan were fortunate themselves that Bojan’s stoppage time goal that would have sent Barcelona through was disallowed for a harsh Yaya Toure hardball (note that Bojan wasn’t booked for kicking the ball away though). Mourinho’s fourth case was last night; Pepe’s foot was high but made minimal contact with Dani Alves with intent of playing the ball. Should not have been a red card.

Jose Mourinho failed to remind the media of Didier Drogba’s red card for Victor Valdes’ theatrics, when the Chelsea striker failed to make contact with the Barcelona keeper. Chelsea lost the game 2-1 on the night in their second round clash in 2005, but turned Barcelona over 4-2 at Stamford Bridge to progress (and be eliminated in the semi finals to Luis Garcia’s controversial goal). The same tie happened the following year, and this time Asier Del Horno received a soft red card for a foul on Lionel Messi (where he appears to be pulling out of the tackle after missing the ball). Barcelona eliminated Chelsea 3-2 on aggregate on their way to Champions League success.

Not everything has gone against Jose Mourinho in the Champions League. I’ve already referred to Bojan’s disallowed goal in last year’s semi final second leg. In the first leg, Diego Milito’s goal to make it 3-1 was from an offside position, and Dani Alves later had a legitimate reason to go down inside the penalty area from Wesley Sneijder’s scissor tackle from behind. Neither decision went in Barcelona’s favour.

Another more famous decision that went in Jose Mourinho’s favour amongst English viewers was Paul Scholes’ disallowed goal when Manchester United faced Porto in 2004, when he was played onside by more than one player. If the goal had stood, as it should, it would have been Manchester United progressing to the Quarter finals and Chelsea would probably have not come knocking on Mourinho’s door that summer…

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