Champions League

Mourinho hails fighting spirit

2012-09-19 10:33
Jose Mourinho (AFP)
Madrid - Real Madrid showed the fighting spirit that had been lacking in recent games and had caused him to question their commitment, a relieved Jose Mourinho roared after his side battled back to beat Manchester City 3-2 on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 90th-minute winner to give Real a winning start in Champions League Group D, after they had twice fallen behind on a nervy night at the Bernabeu.

"The most important thing for me is to be proud of the team regardless of the result," a pumped-up Mourinho told a news conference, having slid to the ground on his knees while punching the air in celebration at Ronaldo's winner.

"I keep saying the same thing to the players. We can lose matches like tonight, it is not a problem, but fighting like animals like we did to the very end."

Real have made a stuttering start to the defence of their La Liga title, earning only four points from a possible 12 so far.

Their most recent defeat, a 1-0 reverse at Sevilla, prompted a scathing attack by Mourinho on the commitment of some of his players which was still causing reverberations in the Spanish capital ahead of Tuesday's game.

"We cannot lose the way we did in Getafe or Sevilla," said the former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss, who dismissed talk of internal problems in the squad.

"Today we were more aggressive, more physical, we dominated, and we eventually won. We conceded two goals but we kept fighting. We equalised but we kept on going.

"I am no-one in the history of Real Madrid but I have the right to say Madrid fans want to see this. We can play better football, but it was difficult today.

"We were low on confidence, lacking self-belief, but the important thing was the commitment of the players. This is the DNA of last year's team. It is an important step in a difficult group."

Edin Dzeko and then Aleksandar Kolarov had put visiting City within touching distance of a famous victory before Karim Benzema and Ronaldo struck late on for Real.

"It's difficult, not because we lost but because we were beating a team like Real Madrid 2-1 with four minutes to go," City coach Roberto Mancini said.

"We must improve because we go too deep sometimes. We allow opponents to play to the edge of our area. We made this mistake."

Mancini bristled when asked if the English champions, who are competing for only the second season in the Champions League, had perhaps been guilty of naivety in the closing stages of the game.

"We can't continue to talk about experience. We have players who play at international level. We need to improve and should be disappointed with this result," he said.

"We scored two goals which was good, our only mistake was going too deep."


Klopp set for the Kop

38 minutes ago


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Lood is a tackling machine
Butch thrilled for 'good guy' Habana
'Remember England', Samoa warn Scotland
Folau fit, Wallabies change 3 for Wales
20 October 2015
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Roma, BayArena 20:45
BATE Borisov v Barcelona, Borisov Arena 20:45
Arsenal v FC Bayern Munchen, Emirates Stadium 20:45
FC Porto v Maccabi Tel Aviv, Estadio do Dragao 20:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Chelsea, Kiev Olympic Stadium 20:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Olympiakos, Maksimir 20:45
Valencia CF v KAA Gent, Mestalla 20:45
Zenit St Petersburg v Lyon, Petrovski Stadium 20:45
21 October 2015
CSKA Moscow v Manchester United, Arena Khimki 20:45
Manchester City v Sevilla, Etihad Stadium 20:45
Juventus v Borussia Monchengladbach, Juventus Stadium 20:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid, Parc des Princes 20:45
Malmo FF v Shakhtar Donetsk, Swedbank Stadion 20:45
Galatasaray v Benfica, Turk Telekom Arena 20:45
Atletico de Madrid v FC Astana, Vicente Calderon 20:45
VfL Wolfsburg v PSV, Volkswagen Arena 20:45
03 November 2015
FC Astana v Atletico de Madrid, Astana Arena 17:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Malmo FF, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Juventus, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Galatasaray, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moscow, Old Trafford 21:45
PSV v VfL Wolfsburg, Philips Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Manchester City, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
04 November 2015
FC Bayern Munchen v Arsenal, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v FC Porto, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v BATE Borisov, Camp Nou 21:45
Olympiakos v Dinamo Zagreb, Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium 21:45
KAA Gent v Valencia CF, Ghelamco Arena 21:45
Roma v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Olimpico 21:45
Lyon v Zenit St Petersburg, Stade de Gerland 21:45
Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv, Stamford Bridge 21:45
24 November 2015
BATE Borisov v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borisov Arena 19:00
Zenit St Petersburg v Valencia CF, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
FC Bayern Munchen v Olympiakos, Allianz Arena 21:45
Maccabi Tel Aviv v Chelsea, Bloomfield Stadium 21:45
Barcelona v Roma, Camp Nou 21:45
Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb, Emirates Stadium 21:45
FC Porto v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Lyon v KAA Gent, Stade de Gerland 21:45
25 November 2015
FC Astana v Benfica, Astana Arena 17:00
CSKA Moscow v VfL Wolfsburg, Arena Khimki 19:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid, Arena Lviv 21:45
Borussia Monchengladbach v Sevilla, Borussia-Park 21:45
Juventus v Manchester City, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Manchester United v PSV, Old Trafford 21:45
Malmo FF v Paris Saint-Germain, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
Atletico de Madrid v Galatasaray, Vicente Calderon 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.