Champions League

Real Madrid plagued by trouble

2012-09-17 08:04
Jose Mourinho (File)

Madrid - Real Madrid go into their Champions League tie against Manchester City in the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday full of doubts after an indifferent start to their La Liga campaign.

The opening clash in a strong Group D, that also includes Dutch champions Ajax and Bundesliga winners Borussia Dortmund, will be crucial for both sides' aspirations to be crowned the continent's top side this season.

Madrid are beaten semi-finalists in the past two years while City disappointed in their first ever appearance last season going out in a group won by Bayern Munich, the eventual runners-up and semi-final victors over Madrid.

City's only European triumph to date came in the 1970 European Cup Winners Cup, but on the back of their first English league title in 44 years, nights like Tuesday in the Bernabeu mean they can finally aspire to challenge sides at the top of European football.

The 1-0 defeat at Sevilla on Saturday left Madrid with four points from four games, their worst La Liga start since the 2001-02 season.

However, that year Vicente del Bosque's side had the same points haul from the same number of games before going on to win the club's ninth and last Champions League title, beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in Glasgow.

The obsession of winning 'la decima', or the 10th title, has consumed the club ever since and coach Jose Mourinho will eventually be judged on whether he is able to deliver.

Real's poor league start already puts them eight points behind rivals Barcelona and has set the alarm bells ringing for the Portuguese coach.

"More then the points difference I worry about my team and the fact that since the start of the season we have only played well in the Super Cup against Barca, a little bit against Valencia and a little bit against Granada. At this moment I have no team," he said.

City drew 1-1 at Stoke on Saturday meaning they remain unbeaten in the Premier League and it was an ex-Madrid player, Javi Garcia, who got the equaliser on his debut.

Garcia, a deadline day signing from Benfica for 16 million, started his career at the Bernabeu and will be keen to play some part on Tuesday.

"The first objective is to fight for the Premier League, because after so long without success, winning that title has excited the fans again, but it is true also that we have to something to prove in the Champions League," he said.

City coach Roberto Mancini has concentrated on the dynasty he hopes to leave at the club.

"It's clear that we don't have the history like Real Madrid but I think that Manchester City have won some trophies and we want to win more in the next 10 years," said Mancini.

Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, who was not risked at Stoke after a knee injury limited his start to the campaign, has a good chance of playing in the city where he made his name at Atletico.

Mourinho will have a full squad to choose from and may prefer Luka Modric ahead of Mesut Ozil or Angel Di Maria after neither impressed and were replaced at half-time in Seville.

The Portuguese coach will also have to decide to start with either Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuain in attack -- the latter has three league goals, and started in three out of four games ahead of the Frenchman who is yet to score for the club this term.

Read more on:    real madrid  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

WRAP: Champions League

2014-10-21 23:15

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals
Fixtures
22 October 2014
Liverpool v Real Madrid, Anfield 20:45
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Zenit St Petersburg, BayArena 20:45
RSC Anderlecht v Arsenal, Constant Vanden Stock 20:45
Olympiakos v Juventus, Karaiskaki Stadium 20:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Ludogorets Arena 20:45
Monaco v Benfica, Stade Louis II 20:45
Galatasaray v Borussia Dortmund, Türk Telekom Arena 20:45
Atlético de Madrid v Malmö FF, Vicente Calderón 20:45
04 November 2014
Zenit St Petersburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Petrovski Stadium 19:00
Arsenal v RSC Anderlecht, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Benfica v Monaco, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Juventus v Olympiakos, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Real Madrid v Liverpool, Santiago Bernabéu 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Galatasaray, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
FC Basel v Ludogorets Razgrad, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Malmö FF v Atlético de Madrid, Swedbank Stadion 21:45
05 November 2014
FC Bayern München v Roma, Allianz Arena 21:45
Ajax v Barcelona, Amsterdam ArenA 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v BATE Borisov, Arena Lviv 21:45
Sporting Lisbon v FC Schalke 04, Estadio José Alvalade 21:45
Manchester City v CSKA Moscow, Etihad Stadium 21:45
NK Maribor v Chelsea, Ljudski Vrt 21:45
Paris Saint Germain v APOEL Nicosia, Parc des Princes 21:45
Athletic Club v FC Porto, San Mamés 21:45
Logs
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
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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