How Mourinho used AVB's example as a warning to his Real Madrid side


Real Madrid, much like Tottenham Hotspur before them, had a lucky escape in European competition this week.

Jose Mourinho could be heading for a Real Madrid exit this summer, and AVB is the bookies favourite to replace him.

Yet the current man in charge at the Bernabeu used a near disaster for AVB as a warning to his Real Madrid side this week, and almost tempted fate.

Madrid went into their Champions League second leg tie against Galatasaray with a 3-0 lead from the first fixture, thanks to goals from Ronaldo, Benzema and Higuain.

Most observers predicted this would be comfortably enough to see them through, despite the renowned difficulty away teams face when traveling to the Turkish side.

Mourinho though foresaw how tricky it would be, perhaps through natural pragmatism, or possibly in the knowledge of the danger posed by two of his former players, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba.

He had seen how his former side Inter Milan almost caused a similar upset of their own last month, when trailing 3-0 in similar circumstances after a first leg loss to Spurs at White Hart Lane in the Europa League.

So ahead of last night's fixture, Mourinho made his players sit through a video of Spurs' second leg match at the San Siro, in which they almost came unstuck.

Tottenham lost 3-0 after 90 minutes, but Emmanuel Adebayor scored a crucial goal in extra-time, and while Inter pulled one back to win 4-1, they lost when the 4-4 scoreline was decided by the away goals rule.

Mourinho was no doubt looking for examples of over-confidence in Tottenham's approach, possession, and general tactics, while also looking at the dangers a motivated home side can pose, especially if they score first.

Well Madrid did the first part last night right, they seemed to have killed the tie off, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the first ten minutes.

But Galatasaray sparked a superb comeback, via the unlikely source of Emmanuel Eboue, formerly of Arsenal, before Drogba and Sneijder each netted.

It left the Turks needing an unlikely two late goals, which did not happen in the same miraculous way that Dortmund managed it against Malaga.

Ronaldo scored late on to kill the game off once and for all, but not after Madrid had suffered an almighty scare.

It makes you wonder perhaps if his Madrid players were paying attention to the video of Spurs that Mourinho showed them, or if simply is another example of the unpredictability that is European football and the danger of playing against a top team in front of a rabid home crowd.

image: © Vladimir Maiorov

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